Summer itself got into the fire last night we all felt the gasp.

Shell looked at me and made a sort of explosion face before she settled into one of those flat smiles you can’t tell what’s behind it her eyes deep into the ruin of fire.

The three of us looked like we were going fishing, flannel and quilt and toques mismatched mitts with holes Jesus our mother would roll her eyes say something about how severely we took after Harvey but it wasn’t that so much as we were cold, like I said summer was going going gone and same with Harvey, we were at his house to clear it out and were wearing his clothes to stay warm, there was no heat, my younger sister Marsh had his goulashes on, I noticed the toes were softening against the fire and once you imagine that rubber smell it’s hard to shake even if it’s not real yet.

I am the perfect middle child, fucking textbook, my invisibility is legendary as are my attempts at its opposite.

I am fresh out of rehab my sisters came to pick me up like a movie and we came straight here, to the house in the woods where Harvey lived before he married our mother and where he lived again after she died. I did not go to the funeral which occurred on a halcyon Friday at noon, the heat my sisters said was unbearable, I only turned to the window, brought my sweater up a bit on my neck it was always cold in that place.

We were so little when Harvey came and just a year apart we were sized incorrectly he couldn’t get Shell and Marsh straight although my position was clear.

Marsh’s still the tallest and she uses her height to boss us around and it sometimes works in our spell of sisters although Shell’s certainly the real boss, that’s the wrong word though, it makes her sound part-bully which she’s not any more but she’s the one who keeps our spell going it’s her table we knock knees under when there’s reason for turkey or cake.

They are summer babies I am winter.

They taught us maybe not to celebrate our differences but to notice them and the thing I noticed mostly was my silence, I’m not saying it was anybody’s fault, but I’ve been trying my voice out a little since they picked me up, small things such as I prefer basmati, no it’s gotta be dark roast, let’s get bok choy and calling shotgun which I know they looked at each other about.

I am naturally quiet I said in circle and Dr. B. said are you? and I’ve seen those words all kinds of ways since for instance they appear ghostly at the tail end of airplanes and in cartoon captions usually above Linus Van Pelt: ARE YOU?

It wasn’t until somebody said write it down, Quinn, write it down and all that shit went down page after page I’m not saying I am even close to being literary whatever the fuck that means but I got it down alright and Shell and Marsh are in for some surprises let me tell you.