Second runner-up in our Hallowe’en poetry contest
Lisa’s ghost twin sister cannot enter the front door. She lays on it and thumps. The door, red once. Now, aluminum siding is backwards, vines strangle the annuals. Pitted cherries forgotten in a bowl on the porch, filled with larvae. The house walls are ocean swallowing all that caress them. Except Lisa’s ghost twin sister cannot rip out a nail or a board if it re-kills her. Bricks remain intact. There is moaning behind Lisa’s ghost twin sister. Or ahead of her.
Lisa’s ghost twin sister tries to go around back. Bees drench lilac bushes. Children laugh, falling out of a hammock. Deeper and deeper into the lilac bushes she goes. Insects sense her and swarm while birds stop birding. Weeds multiply. Sounds pop. She cannot get to them. That is probably for the best. She might lose a piece of herself in that backyard. That would scare people. Through the mirror, she sees sunshine and clouds on the kitchen ceiling. A tiny bone rests in an ashtray. Minuet in G major plays on a cassette player. A dead grandfather paints murals in the living room.
Lisa’s ghost twin sister owns her environment. Now, grass covers half of her face. Her eyes decorative fountain pebbles, plastic tubing for arms. Sewer pipe femur bones. Electric wiring inside her throat. Lisa’s ghost twin sister clangs and jolts in an old habitat. She pulls a twig from her hair and picks the lock. She gets inside, a virus entering an orifice. A bag of hair in a closet. Two beds disheveled. Shredded heart next to the bone. The Staffordshire dish is pretty. Lisa’s ghost twin sister makes her way upstairs.
~ Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens received a B.A. and a B.F.A. from New York University and currently calls the Midwest home. She has poems published in numerous journals, including Superstition Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Squalor Review, Gravel Magazine, Sein und Werden, The New Poet, Scapegoat Review, Menacing Hedge, and Iowa City’s 2013 Poetry in Public Project.