The rainstorm has broken, finally.
I point out the tenacity of water, holding

to the lip of the upstairs balcony. Look how long
they fight falling and yet—

threads of themselves unravelling through
the air. My sister feels like the back of a tapestry,

all unwoven. I see the concealed effort of building
something beautiful

and—I won’t deny it—I want to keep her
tucked away forever. But she is audacious

and human, little wildfire burning. Eventually,
the boys will smell smoke and come running.


M. J. Arlett was born in the UK and now lives in Texas, where she is pursuing her Ph.D. She is an editor at the Plath Poetry Project and her work has appeared in B O D Y, The Boiler, Lunch Ticket, Poet Lore, Mud Season Review, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere.