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Five Scenarios for Three Sisters

Five Scenarios for Three Sisters

Joanna C. Valente


Easy to imagine them as horses:

storm jaws eclipse, grass cools on their hinds;

they momentarily forget how to stand.


If they were a surgeon's hands: a husband wakes

from bypass to find he loves his wife more than his lover,

heart failure turns to agape.


A light flashes white—they are a camera lens: a woman

scoops ice cream, her child asking if she loves him

skulls gleam orange, assume position.


Drifts of sea-stuff hive between shells: they are crabs

settling for a final resting place—washing ashore without a husk,

a floundered open-heart surgery.


Split open, ropes of guts unsewn: they are jammed lungs—

birds fly above, beak out their breath;

a butterfly crawls out.