Julia Cohen & Mathias Svalina
From Behind the Azaleas the Doctor Watches

the sister hang dripping blouses from the eaves of the garage. Raisins fall
from the holes in his pockets & ants swarm behind him in fours & fives.

The brother saves cartwheels in his socks. He’s dirt-clotted & still,
his sister moving for him through the outer-bush, where people can see.

She does this for him, without landscape, without dried weeds tangling
the stained glass window. The doctor digs a hole in the sandbox

& buries his wallet beside the whippoorwill bodies. He invents a new name
for the mass of dead leaves we call autumn or eardrums.

The sister falls into the garden bed & sleeps of candied apples. Her brother
spills down the basement stairs & is put back in bed.

He has wings that are not. We call them spine flowered with ivy.
Warm milk buckles into thickness, thick enough for a wooden spoon.

There are nights that wake the dead bulb above the kitchen sink.
There are flames below the skin that wake the body-dunes of salt.

Whatever persuades the body into the closet door bubbles in the spring.
But my skin feels like my skin. What has changed besides temperature

& a will resembling a bracelet? The blur in the corner is a flower we forgot
to reveal. I am afraid I forget how to reveal myself: how a hole

in the window is an excuse for dust. I store this dust in a kaleidoscope
& write letters to my brother. In the first one I tell him that I am the sister.

In the second I spell his name with quivers. I spell the name
until it outlines the map. In the third letter I am still standing by the tallest maple

with twelve branches. Nothing could remain solid by this firelight.
We all tune the piano. The dust of our kaleidoscope is broken.