BLOOD & BATTERY PACKS


by Rachel Vinciguerra


They thought we were destined to fight, a mess of hair, nails and bitter
Words. Over men, usually, always–even in whole worlds of not-men.

 

My mother brings her home in a blue and white blanket, it’s one day
After Christmas or two–I think she’s a present my mother forgot to wrap.

 

I know where each button is and when to push so she’ll sink
her teeth deep draining blood and leave us both in tears.

 

I dress her as a clown for our front-yard circus and take a polaroid of
Her frowning underneath a painted smile (that I’ll never live down).

 

In the mall parking lot, a man struggles to open his door with ice cream
In hand and I’m crying from nothing, then we’re both choking laughing.

 

She makes a dress for prom with light strips and a battery pack,
dripping with grace, the coolest person I know.

 

She’s in an accident, I am camping or someplace without service;
With blood in her eyes, she asks for the scarf I gave her in the backseat.

 

On her couch in Queens, I try to describe the indescribable like
the still of a lake, that I am certain is magic, she insists she doesn’t see it.

 

At my house for the long weekend, I think we’ll share my bed like we did
When we were young, pulling the metal frames together at Nonna’s
To stay up late talking. She’d rather spread out on the couch.

 

She’s unwell and I feel it, without looking at my phone,
Even though we were never connected exactly.

 

There are whole worlds between us and of us,
Odometers and ice cream, blood and battery packs.

 

Merging onto the freeway, windows down, we see silhouettes, two girls in
The back seat, we’re frantically waving until they wave back.


 
 

 

Rachel Vinciguerra (she/her) lives fifteen minutes from the closest river in Pittsburgh with her partner, cat, and chickens. Her poetry can also be found in The OWL Literary Review, Door is a Jar, and Eunoia Review. She has also published two children’s books and is working on a memoir. rachelvinciguerra.com.