Let the language tear. Split the pieces
into remembering and misremembering:
I remember the car accident, my brother’s bloody lip.
He remembers the ambulance, a rag at my mouth.
Braid them together, finely, so that it seems
you’re saying one thing: survived. Kiss
the place between my eyes the Nettipot can’t
clear. Robot, I have a pond in me, a quilt
of bad headaches and half-chewed childhoods.
If I give them to you, will you make them
whole? If I give you my body, full
of apples, can you put them back on the tree?
Re-stem the fruit. Undead the branch.
We were sneaker feet swinging from the metal bench.
Floating in the bathtub: power rangers. The apples
our mother sliced for us (re-stem the fruit).
Our bikes we crashed into the willow (undead
the branch). We don’t live like this anymore.
We’re too busy now. Robot, bring my brother back
a boy. And me, a sister. Re-body
the blood. The fruit. The branch.
LILY GREENBERG is a poet from Nashville, Tennessee and the author of In the Shape of a Woman (Broadstone Books 2022). She serves as Poetry Editor of Longleaf Review and lives in New York.