No Place Like Home
By Sarah Arnett
My sister wears ruby red sneakers,
and eats oranges from a can.
I can’t help but wonder where the tornado
will take her, but I hope
she doesn’t stay too long.
I miss her at home.
I see her body stretched across billboards
beside ads for lingerie and beer,
like the nights we spent on the road.
I think she’s still afraid of me.
Raindrops fall like eyelashes,
and dewdrops collect in my palms,
and her synapses are full of cobwebs.
I miss her brain.
I carry my keys between my fingers
when I walk down the salt-stained brick road
and lock my apartment door three times,
because dead men can’t catcall,
but God, their screams can haunt you.
It was different when I had her
emerald-painted nails to claw away
the lions and tigers and bears.
I miss her courage.
Babies scream and babies cry;
Daddies scream and Mommies cry.
We chant our nursery rhymes,
she and I,
and tap each doorframe as we walk past.
The ceiling has started caving in,
but I can still smell the poppies she picked,
stuck in my sweater along with my cigarette smoke.
We count the seconds
between the thunder and the lightning
to know how long we have before
it rattles in our bones.
I miss her heart.
Sarah Arnett is a junior creative writing major at Interlochen Arts Academy. She is from Castle Rock, Colorado. She is the winner of Albion College’s Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest, and her work has been featured in the Albion Review and the Red Wheelbarrow. After high school, she hopes to major in neurolinguistics while continuing to write in her free time.