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34 the minnesota review Jennifer Chapis My Sister and the Bat My sister is a king in her thong underwear, a cat pushing the roar around, front door wide open to the vacuum's scour. This is when the bat fleets in, abound with hurry, over the hub of her thin dinner: gin toddy and a Cornish game hen. My sister eats only bites from any meal. She bows to the chatter, wings sew a length of darkness straight up the stairs, rungs of her abs, her ribs - gray speed blowing the height of this house. Bird meat in her belly, whole still, she treads toward a room where the bat is a seed of darkness patient on the bedpost. The eyes of her hands push a path in the death-wonder, spy here in her home turned inside out like a hole, land where a ram or a dove, a bat can hang on the cuffs of words carved up a climbing tree. The tree grows the branches that build beds, whole rooms, visions so solid they spark, parade when spoken. My sister's gull on a bony beach, feet wed to the scare of what's under the sand, Chapis 35 underneath the day and its bright wit fallen from the sky in a wild blur. Her buns have the clarity of small turtle shells. Her breasts are men numb at the collar, alert in the pants. She grows balls in the ice of the moment slow-to thaw, the thew of her movement, her position half-way up the heartbeat of the stairwell. 36 the minnesota review Color By Number A couple in their 60s. Eyes fixed on bread plates. Precise diner-style nibbling. Tiny pin-striped tabletop. Peg game. Color by number. A single crayon and sharpener. The man scribbles. His herbal tea bag blood-blue. His menu: 1-ounce protdn 1-ounce dairy 1-ounce starch 1-ounce fat. One fist-sized piece of fruit. The woman. Red M&Ms in a plastic baggie cinched with cloth ribbon. Requests the candies be folded into buckwheat pancakes. M&Ms bob soft and white in her coffee, matte rose swirls about the dark. the mugs a gutless yellow. This woman eager to travel the world, to love her husband the way they've never had time. The man. Cottage cheese scoop. Cored apple-half. Speaks of blood pressure business partners sci-fi releases on DVD, his martini made of red crayon on the glossy tabletop. ...


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