& the asphalt glittered like stars By valerie d. gray

& the asphalt glittered like stars

Sister drank all the wine.
Poured everything else down the sink.

Smashed the bottles in the street.
Came back inside and made us some noodles.

Boiled soft with butter. The last thing
Left in the pantry. Mama says

Empty places are spaces for blessings to come.
She mutters about the bottles under her breath.

Sister is trying to hide her stumbles.
Her slurring lip gloss mouth.

Mama says Tea Ray Willis!
Wipe off your lips you look too grown up!

As Sister is straining against her own skin.
A fire in the closeness of her.

Somewhere between her shoulder blades.
Something about being fifteen.

No one told us about the wanting.
The hunger in the marrow of our growing bones.

We are trying to love Mama more like a wave kissing the sand.
Less like a wound opening over and over.

By valerie d. gray


valerie d. gray is a nursing student who enjoys writing about disabilities, lgbt issues, ghosts, the midwest, and growing up. find her at clisbons.tumblr.com

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