Sister, somewhere

Sister, somewhere

You pulled out a photograph, said we looked alike,
she and I, me, twenty something and feeling out,
her, still doddering on chunky thighs, speaking

in her own tongue. I thought maybe you were right,
though my skin was creamier, hers honey bronzed,
kissed by sun beams, temples. Half-clad, I ground against

sweaty poles in dank corners, while she danced
in afternoon showers, semi-naked but young enough
not to know flushed cheeks, the touch of shame.

She likes her coffee iced, you said, and I nodded,
trying to assimilate the creases beneath her eyelids,
the pout she had learned at birth, the way she held

a pen, steadfast, in the crook of her fingers, spelled
out words in curves and contours, incomprehensible
to my uncultured mind. She’s capable then – a question

in my tone, a yearning to know she hadn’t outdone my
own childish achievements, hadn’t accomplished
anything more than that unknowable quest – –

stringing him, like a father, to her side.