Jill Bialosky The End of Desire  
    Jill Bialosky: A Sister's Story

My sister startles herself from sleep.
I can feel her breath rise
in the slow-motion of mine.
I am thirteen, and she is three.

Outside sleep unravels from our bodies.
Her hand, perfect for cradling a coin,
closes within mine.
We walk in the backyard

over long grass,
between weeping willow trees.
She won't remember her dream
so I tell her another:

How a girl alone in the night,
the stars so close to her,
she takes a pair of scissors
and cuts them from the sky.

She opens her slate-colored book,
arranges the stars
into constellations,
pastes them flat as doilies.

They are like a billion
burning hearts.
Each morning the book
stretches back to the sky.

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    Excerpted from The End of Desire by Jill Bialosky. Copyright © 1999 by Jill Bialosky. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.