FOR MY 20-YEAR-OLD SISTER ON MY 30TH BIRTHDAY
Nobody knows what they’re doing, Maddie.
Sometimes I can see, as if from above, the wave
of each fresh generation gathering, drawing
more of itself into itself and looming, perilous
and untenable, above the lower water.
The collective breath of newborns responsible
for the atmospheric shift. Freaky shit. The morning
shows call it sweater weather. I call it death knell
with elbow patches. Best case scenario, I say,
how do you think the world will end? It’s near two a.m.
and you’re walking uphill in Worcester in a silver
dress, shivering like the moon must shiver
in her lockstep tidal darkness. Know me, sister.
I bequeath you the decade between us. It was
useless and warm, like a house party.
Like a house party, I spent it in the kitchen,
counter-top-perched, glittering so lightly
no one noticed my gravity. I felt like I knew
something then. It was mostly a feeling. Best case
scenario? you say. Dinosaurs return for a feeding.