Across the day-drunk bottleglass,
Sheer gradients of changing light
Portray each mood that passes,
Some ghostwork of the sun so slight
It slants upon an open page
To let it voice another shade
Of meaning: lavender, mock orange,
The very pink that mediates
A glare of white, which might be read . . .
These panes now color other weather
Through water, window (gold and lead)
To souvenir a wave, and letters
Gloss stoic relics that don't move;
This room's transposed from dusk to mauve.
She went to intern at the vet's,
Surrounded by the empty cages,
Did a little homework, depending
If she fixed a meal or if her pets
Needed feeding. Turned some pages,
Drew a picture, half-pretending.
No one seemed to know my sister.
Eventually, she went away
To college, but then transferred back
And lived at home to finish her
Pre-req's. Soon buried in the day-
To-day of her new job, it's black
And white, measuring control
Groups, nervous rabbits, red-eyed mice,
Recording their slow side-effects.
She fast adjusted to her role,
Sterile lab coat and the precise
Split-dosage schedule to inject;
The rows of vials, double-blind,
Exposure levels, routines for detox,
Discarding all the biohazards.
Go in early, work overtime,
Weekends on call, and beat the clock.
With time each detail can be mastered.
No surprises, no room for error;
A spacious townhouse, lives near the beach.
Of any evils, choose the lesser,
Save up whatever can be spared. More
Walk-in closets, doodads for the niche.
I know nothing of my sister.
Will Cordeiro is currently
a Ph.D. candidate studying 18th century British literature at Cornell. Co-founder of Brooklyn Playwrights Collective, he has had several
plays produced in regional and off-off-Broadway venues, including a libretto
performed at the Johnson Museum of Art. His work appears in numerous literary journals.