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Lisa Zaran

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Just As I Am Leaving, I Notice

Just As I Am Leaving, I Notice

across the room
my sister sits barren.

her laughter rests
in the roof of her mouth.

a smile hangs loosely
upon her lips,

like a crooked painting
on a cold wall.

sad, the shadows shift
back and forth,

like finger puppets.
she likes to watch them

dance. her midnight eyes
drifting from sun bleached

afternoon into evening's ash. she never complains.

she never cries. to spill
a tear would be to her

like dropping an obscenity
into God's clean ear.

Originally published in Other Voices, 2004, Copyright © Lisa Zaran