No sooner had I walked in the door
and kicked off my shoes than did

my sister trip over her feet running
to the door just to throw her arms

around me in a one-girl welcome
home party. And what I would have

given to return that embrace, squeeze
her four-foot frame to spin her around

the air, laughing until we couldn't
breathe as she kissed my cheek.

But without warning my skin erupted
into tiny cold points, shuddered under

her touch before I could realize why,
the brush of fingers, the flesh foreign

and not my own again. Of course, she
didn't understand, so offered a shaky

smile instead which I strained to return,
and excused myself to my room; these

bags are so heavy and I must,
I must set them down.