By Luisa Peñaflor
Sister, the clouds were collecting into thick smoked cotton over us and it was so humid I thought the dogs might choke and it took us five tries to light the fire, we both brought lighters with flames flickering, licking the edges of the pages into thin, curling tar—
Sister, there were three houses facing us and forest extending from either side like long hairy arms as we burnt the book on the paved pavilion floor, driving the wasps from the corners of the rafters, driving out the mother birds and mosquitoes—
Sister, you threw the blades into the lake, one skipping and one sinking and two slipping into the shallows, hidden under mossy mud-muddle— one missing— It's a family cul-de-sac, god forbid some kid see something shiny, god forbid some fish think the silver glint was one of its siblings—
Sister, I found the red plastic cup next to the lake, I threw out the mud and drowned ashes. I am cautious in a way I wish you were. On the walk back home I found an acorn and you pointed out a chunk of concrete you tripped over. I don’t want to be optimistic but yesterday when we clung to each other it was the first time I saw you cry like you actually hurt.