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Sestina for the Family Trips
Let her sleep over pavement.
She watches her sister
and she’s never cold
in this box that rumbles
to hold them together and close
while she fiddles with her zipper.
“I’ll hold you in,” the zipper
hums to the girl despite the pavement.
But roads do keep her close
-- as long as they last -- to the sister,
who tosses her curls as they rumble
over potholes. The girl feels the cold
against her cheek, recoils from the cold
window in shock, fingers the zipper
which is also cold. The rumble
of bass bounces like car on pavement
and the girl sings while the sister
makes guitar noises or also sings or closes
her eyes and wraps her arms close
around her as if she were cold.
But she merely holds herself, for the sister
has for hours sat with open zipper.
“I’ll let you out,” the pavement
promises the girl in an hours-long rumble.
But it is a tame rumble,
and it too shakes around the close
container. So near is the pavement
and the girl sees the road lies cold
and yanks down her zipper
in defiance. The sister
(being younger) copies the girl, both sisters
holding ear to car-door to listen for the rumble
of their motion. Pushed aside, the zipper
shakes itself in a failed attempt to shift closer
to the girl. Against her warm leg, it lies cold
like the white lines on the pavement.
The zipper exclaims, “I am like pavement.”
The road rumbles to itself in response and cold
metal holds the sisters as they watch the day close.