sterile

Sterile
by ash bowen
Your sister can’t stop hurting when she sees children
laughing. They coil in her dreams, knees raised
to their stomachs, feet stamping their rhythms.
She’s reminded of high school, how she pulled up
her dress in loneliness and a man laughed at her.
But never mind that. Her husband has his gun
collection out. He can’t stop pointing and clicking
the trigger at the open window. But the birds
won’t die. They flutter away, startled by the pitch
of his voice. They land on the fence
of the city swimming pool. There the children run
off the diving board, ducking invisible bullets.

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