my sister in The Land of Mist | Angela Dawn

If you want to know how she felt,
take Bouvardia
woven with chrysanthemum
make a
permanent flower crown for your head.
Remove your skull be
lightening in a bottle
if you can.
Bright and
impermanent. You are probably that
last thing for sure.
Be prone to pleasure and
do cartwheels on the lawn
of your first husband’s house
in red shorts
Let yourself be filmed first
with the brand new camera
purchased just after
Mom got cancer.

If you want to know how she felt,
don’t be shy
but blush when our dad says
close your legs.

If you want to know how I felt,
watch the video 30 years later when they’re all gone,
Mom, Dad, and Sister.
Don’t kid yourself that you, like the great
Professor Challenger, can dare even to attempt to speak to
those who are lost.
Just watch their ghosts on the polypropylene
and think to yourself
Jesus fucking Christ
she is an adult.
It was just a cartwheel, and you really
couldn’t see anything anyway.

Angela Dawn is a poet living in the South Bronx. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Silver Birch Press, {Prong & Posy}, THRUSH Poetry Journal and Red Paint Hill . Originally from Richmond, VA, Angela writes, tends chickens, and studies dance and yoga near her home in historic Mott Haven. Read more at


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