I know I pretend that I swear where you are
but it's hard not to feel and to care where you are
finger the planchette that moves to the symbols
our cheap pagan method of prayer where you are
the medium gives answers we coax her to say
do spirits judge or forgive do they scare where you are
you left me your journals unpaid bills and a car
have you cut and styled your new hair where you are
I once loved how your tiny fingers peeled an orange
when you laugh your laugh do people stare where you are
you got in the car just once when he was drunk
do you get second chances is it fair where you are
playful laugh bedroom eyes ready for adventure
are there lovers in Janna do you dare where you are
I wear your old boots when I hike in the gorge
can you climb and explore is there air where you are
in the hazy terrain once I pass through the veil
shine a light shoot a flare meet me there where you are
Two sisters drenched and laughing together, side by side, step
forth knee-deep, splash each other giggling, wading in lock-step.
Toasting, fumbling, storytelling, guzzling life together—
eyes smiling, voices harmonizing, immersed step-by-step.
Bodies steeping, marinating, swapping boys like clothing;
bobbing along, the frequent slip-up, the clumsy half-step.
Does one leap forth on paths, more carefree with a buoyant gait
and the other trawl her feet with caution, plant every step?
Who's to say? At the end of the day, one of them has sunk
but this beloved still treads somehow, despite each misstep.
Amy Baskin writes poetry, stories, picture books and non-fiction. Her work is currently featured in Panoply, NonBinary Review, Sein Und Werden, The Gorge Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Random Poem Tree, and Mothers Always Write and is forthcoming in Delirious, a Prince tribute anthology, and Dirty Chai. Patricia Smith’s “Hip Hop Ghazal” and Natasha Trethewey’s “Miscegenation” made her fall in love with the form.