VISITING MY AUTISTIC SISTER
DAVID M. ALPER
Like a stream, she resides between
the shiver and the skin
that grasps her shadow.
This is where retention commences:
the thread of what must be lifts
from the braid of what was
and hinges inside her now, her present.
My sister sways, gone, or gone again
and totters like a blade of grass swept
by an odd April wind, no more tethered
to the past than to the bed on which she sits.
She runs her palm against the side of my head:
a new shadow falls, a shiver stirs off the wall,
and her wind quenches the flame of life’s lantern
with us dancing to see her new dawn.