Lightning Won’t

Strike twice on
the same stage
in the same
heart to doom
the same

life all over

again. She only thinks
she recognizes
that dose
of thunder
as his.

After the First Year

Let the counting
continue invisible. A voice
so beautiful she’s afraid
to listen for it. If it’s the best
she’ll ever hear,
what then? What key
do ghosts sing in?

Nine Months

A child could have been
conceived and born
in the time you’ve been

gone. A child was
conceived and born
in that exact span of days

decades ago—your eldest.
Somewhere there’s a recording
of you singing “Happy Birthday”

to her. And what better reminder
about the cycle of life. You gave me—
your third—the blessing

and curse of counting. Not enough
time has passed
for gratitude to outscore

grief. And yet today’s celebration
of my sister brings us closer
to evening the score.

Homophone

She sounds like
someone else. Looks different. Philosophies

of life in bas-relief—
especially death. Can you fingerprint

a voice? The deeper
it goes, the more I listen

for other songbirds
gliding across plains.