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KEVIN OBERLIN

The Doctor Attempts to Heal His Sister
Through Her Own Beauty


Watching my sister dance for the first time
since leaving the hospital. Itís like who you are
is always partly who you were. A climb
into arms and limbs, terrain unfamiliar.

We collected berries as children. I keep my hand
against her neck. A stick, a flower, a gun.
See what you can in the brain scan, in the bed pan
without better instruments to verify her condition.

We slept together, that is, alongside,
like tangled roots, our mistake the separation
of the equally astonished. Always confined,
the two in one. Something she might say.

She speaks in fragments, the bare feet of language.
I restrain her with drugs in the mornings. Hold her still.
Her hair grows into mine, the uncertain advantage
of losing our lives in each otherís will.

She watches the fights, the making love, the decay
beneath the panic through which we laugh and forget.
She draws blood from everything near her, sustains
our wasting until, remade, she can make us better.



Kevin Oberlin lives and writes in Cincinnati. His sonnet sequence Spotlit Girl was selected as the winner of the 2006 Wick Poetry Chapbook Competition. His work has appeared recently in Bateau; Forklift, Ohio; and North American Review. Visit his website here.



Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761