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I write a book for her. Then my sister and I dredge up the past. And after the last kid is sealed inside, we ride to the sound of phones. The house and life before me. Like a big fat tomb. The fan fires. The light flickers. An explosion behind the jets in the sky. We call it Sun. From a friend’s we go on a walk. See a house behind hollyhocks swaying in lanes. Fixated, I’m uprooted by my sister’s hand. Come on, she says. I don’t remember ever being so far from home. At the hospital stairs are carpeted like tires. A Coke machine dispenses cups for a quarter. It is our childhood. We race. Choose the best goddamned one.

***

In the dream upon dream upon dream, I do the best I can having been given four babies to care for. They cry and fuss and then learn to walk before a picture window. One daughter I have when I’m awake buys a book on dreams. Look up babies, I say. A crying baby symbolizes unmet needs, she says. What about a child? I say. There’s nothing, she says. We drive in silence. Okay, what about flying? I say. Your dreams won’t be realized, she says. If you are flying like a bird. How were you flying? Like a human, I say. The way a human would fly.

Katherine McCord has published two books of poetry, Island and Living Room (both by March Street Press). She has an MFA in Poetry and an MA in English/Creative Writing/Poetry. Her work has been published in Caketrain, and is forthcoming in American Poetry Review.

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