I see you sometimes at night, pale and ephemeral, when I let my eyes unfocus and drift slightly. You're there, just at my elbow, and the smile you give me is sweet and half-sad as you shake your hair back from your face. I love you, you mouth, as I try to avoid your gaze, broken moonlight that it is.
You're dead, after all, just as surely and as certainly as any broken bird upon the highway, any withered rose on yesterday's trash heap, any carelessly crushed butterfly . . . you're dead, a bullet through your brain, sister mine, and nothing will change that, not any amount of money our parents can come up with, nor any platitudes I could give.