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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