your sister told you to face the wall & count to 300, hear the rain-patter steps scurry off & mark the direction they fall—always listening for the pace of things. you drum a beat in hundreds, forget your place as you watch the window's shadow on the yellow dry-wall, call it good & stretch your legs, cool tile on your feet. the house feels empty & silent & you think this is what is must be like to grow & live on you own, to poke your head into every room & see empty seats. you wonder if you could press yourself into the afternoon, take a nap there but there are eyes watching you— behind the pillow, behind the beach towels, behind the dresses in your mom's closet & through the gaps in the door, all the warm corners are taken. your sister tells you it's your job to seek, to rid the home of hiding. you hear the wind loosen creaks in the wall, shoulders tense at a swinging door, & sit back down to recount.
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