Sitting on the porch, the sun glasses my eyes.
A Carolina Wren streaks through the light
and into its gray-brown hue. Mom says
this one’s got a nest, that her and Dad watch
the babes learning to fly. When I get home,
Emily runs her soft fingers along my hairline,
from forehead to ear. She smiles gently
at the single strand of blond turned silver.
My arms ache numb from hours over highway.
From where I came, my sister sleeps off sickness:
each withdrawal, a three-day coma. At dawn,
when we wake, the blinking alarms shriek out.
This is how we count our losses, and then,
as forgetful as anything, we look for lovers —
so reckless is the fall, so effortless the wind.