by Melody Wilson
My sister slept in the laundry room, the door fastened by a
cinch strap and a nail. She painted the cinderblock walls
purple. Some nights tires would slide into the gravel drive and
it was my job to cover. I feigned sleep, confusion, while our parents
banged on the impenetrable door. She taught me to hitchhike,
shoplifted my first bra, considered me a coward.
Freeze, she said, if the cops come. Cry when you’re cornered by a man.
She was the artist, the ringleader, my wildest thing,
my alternate universe, a phone call and some chemistry away.
Always trying to be something you’re not, she said, when I
told her I was clean. I should have chugged malt liquor
with her that November day. We could have smoked grass
as she put me in my place,
Melody Wilson writes and teaches in Portland, Oregon. Recent work appears in Quartet, Briar Cliff Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, The Shore, and Timerline Review. Upcoming work will be in Tar River Poetry, Whale Road Review, and SWWIM. She has recently been awarded the 2021 Kay Snow Poetry Award and is Honorable Mention for the 2021 Oberon Poetry Award.
Cover Design by Karen Rile