the lost kite

i was twenty when i had the dream
one of those strong dreams that becomes a memory
so this is also the story of something that actually happened

the details are crisp like the temperature of the new spring air
like the crunch of the broken and dried corn stalks
in the windy field where we walked

she was with me, my twin
who had always been so close to me
alike in looks and temperament

i drove us in my ancient red chevy van
to the field across the street from the house we grew up in
the field where we flew kites in the spring of our childhood
the closest thing to a point of origin that i can identify for anything

and of course we brought a kite with us
one of those plastic grocery store kites that always breaks
there was a static charge in the air
a smell of ozone
some great decision delayed for the moment

i played the string out
and she launched the kite into the air
with a hop and a laugh
the only sound either of us made that I can remember

that is the clearest last image I have of my twin sister
she had the same crooked smile
hair the same lengthy, noncommittal blonde
the same lines of worry between hazel eyes
that stayed around even when she was happy
she was beautiful

the kite flew well and we watched it, taking turns
making it swing and dive
playing out the line as far as it could go
we stayed out a long time

i remember a squeeze of my hand and
her white dress, blurry, disappearing behind the corner of the van
the string, loosed from its plastic mooring
floating up and away
the kite receding

i never saw her again
i woke up sobbing
i mourned for days

twenty years ago now she left me alone
in the field of my childhood
just like that

i tried not to resent the loss
but i went ahead and changed
i grew out my beard
possibly out of spite
possibly i hated her a little

recently, she began showing up again
like nothing ever happened
just like that
that is another way in which we are alike

i saw her around town on my ordinary errands
i glimpsed her once in the display case at the grocery store
she was watching me from the window of the moores hill gas station
she darted away when i approached

and now she has finally found my home
i encountered her in the field behind the blackberry bushes.
she’s older now but still looks just like me
i asked her to come inside and she followed me in
she just hangs around in the kitchen
she hasn’t spoken yet

i have no idea what she wants from me

Moores Hill
June, 2014


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