Lynne’s Car Washed Violently Down, Off the Cliff

Elegy for my sister

I take the penny from father’s hardwood drawer.

I turn the standing upright penny, its copper head cold, turn
and turn till a small whorl-well of a circle bores into the center
of the brick laid in our fireplace. Brick dust cradle. Thumb place.
This fireplace is wingless and cold. The penny multiplies in swarms.
Nine cloud coffins full of pennies are open and floating as bees float,
looking for my ears. Lynne’s car washed violently down off
the cliff. I am too young to drive. Today, all memory ruins
downstream to the bee-swarm, becomes a plea from then till
now and grows reason’s garden pulled out at the roots.
There’s an ocean treading its own water

to the waist of the coastline, water-skin flexing. I am standing
upright: absent-me in a house full of grief and thievery. Above
the thumb place. I was a child there once, both boy and girl, standing
upright. I turned the penny over on the desert brick, in the fire,
stepped into the cold downstream ruin of  bees swarming
in the hard rain’s garden. I did not know what I was doing.
It was all made of the same shape and sound down there.
More Poems by Elena Karina Byrne