The freckle on my sister’s hazel iris replicates
the May transit of Mercury across our sun.
Every 13 or 33 years, orbits line up to make theory
believable to the layman splayed out on Earth
like a poor man’s star made of lesser dust.
For a span of hours she becomes a universe.
And yet, I have no sister. She would have smoked
and blown blue out windows, into exhaust vents.
Our DNA flickering like ancient Christmas lights
that eventually burn down the house. Her hand,
the one I held before somersaulting back into a black pool
of anesthetic, waking corrected into her security.
Or the night our father left, and I held hers. Pressed
into life like a fiver for a favour to be called in
later, at thirty-seven my sister taught me to drive.
I leaned over and held the still-warm wheel
while she put her hands up as if surrendering
to greater authority. Only ever heir to her
absence, I tried to sister my mother, another’s sister,
a stranger, a man, air. So when I say I miss you,
it’s not to you, but through to the palm trees
on the throw pillow that are not actual palms.
But I enjoy the idea of their shade
when the sun hits them right.
Dani Couture’s most recent collection of poetry is Yaw (Mansfield Press). Sweet (Pedlar Press) was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and won the ReLit Award for poetry. In 2011, Couture received an Honour of Distinction from The Writer’s Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBT Writers.