My Brother’s Room II

C’mon. It’s like you have Girls’ Night
every weekend.

Alice shakes her head.
Girls’ Night is Girls’ Night.
No boys, or it wouldn’t be Girls’ Night.
You’ll just have to find
some other way to stay occupied.

My sister folds her arms over her chest.

Fine. We don’t need you
to have fun.
I look at our brother.
Get your stuff. We’re going out.

Half an hour later open his door:
he’s organizing his records.

How did you have them? Alpha
by album?

By producer.

I sigh. How much longer?

Give me ten minutes.

I look at the clock.

Volvo leaves in five.
He keeps filing.

At minute four I turn
to start the car and a woman
with unmistakably
short black hair
is standing
right in front of me,
facing the stairs.
She turns, looks
me in the eye, and says,

She looks frighteningly familiar.


Me first. How old are you?


How old are you?


Oh, no. Crap crap crap.

Wait, hold on.

I knock on my sister’s door
and the woman bolts
downstairs. I’m almost out
the front door after her
when a duet of Girls Night!
fills the front hall.

I think I lost her on the street
but then she bursts through a streetlight:
she’s going to the reservoir.

She’d be impossible
to find in this quarter-moonlight
except that she’s heaving
almost as loud as I am.
I think she waits for me
at the far edge of the water.
We sit next to each other and catch
our breath.

I’ve seen you before.
I know I’ve seen you before.

Then it hits me.

Are you kidding me?!

She smirks
like it’s painful.

How old are you?


What the hell is going on? My little sister
is thirteen years older than me.

She shrugs.

You think I know?

Wait. So what are you doing here?
What have you been doing here?
And what about when we were kids?
Was that you,

Easy on the questions, cowboy.
I mean, you can ask all you want
but I don’t think I have any answers.

I look up at the almost-moon
like if I listen harder, it’ll tell me
what to do.

But when I look back she’s gone,
like she just evaporated:
the grass still springing back
where she sat.

Added: April 6, 2013 | Last changed: January 23, 2015