The night my sister goes away I want
to do something dramatic. I lie in her room,
on her bed, hear the coyotes out there. The moon
roving. It’s gnawing, pressing out from inside
that wants me more there. Out there.

I climb out on the roof, quiet, listen. Coyotes,
moonlight. Cling to the wind. The trees
deep, the wood thick, the hayloft filled with bats,
bats throwing themselves out in swarms
into the gnawing call, up to the moon, shaky.

I am a part of it, it is a part of me, it is hers,
I think.

A helicopter swings its searchlight through the trees.
I get caught in it. The searchlight roves the wood,
Teeming, empty. They find nothing. No,
that is in another story. No, I am in charge
of the searchlight. I am shining it down
on the wood. The searchlight is just
the crawling moon. No, that was years ago.
That they looked all night for the missing girl.
No, I looked for years for one night. This is it.
Kyra Spence

Kyra Spence’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Stirring, Cola Literary Review, The Bennington Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa.

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