Do Not Touch or Photograph
My sister sends me an envelope
with an ocean inside, buries
lit candles beneath her floorboards. Nights,
we’d curl up in the cab of the propane truck
our grandpa drove, listen to the static
between radio stations instead of speaking
or going inside. I cut words into
the plaster of my closet wall, waited for light
to knife under the door. Our room ripped
along the line of duct tape to split on either coast. This
is why we always carry lighters, now: the possibility
of a spark. Our words smoke signals
in Pig Latin. Childhoods water
seeping under a closet door. My sister
sends me photographs undeveloped,
but we both know what they are. I bury them
in my floorboards for her to light
with the candles under hers. My dad
sends a slick of propane for me to pour
into the ocean. I cut a door in the clouds.
I think of how I could go in. How
it is an ocean, not formed yet. I call
the door a mouth, teach it a language.
I tell my sister I will meet her there,
but neither of us goes.
Nina Puro’s work is forthcoming or recently appeared in H_ngm_n, Indiana Review, Prelude, the PEN America Poetry Series, Washington Square Review, and other places. A chapbook, Two Truths & A Lie, will drop from dancing girl press in 2015. She lives and works in Brooklyn.