Thursday, May 18, 2023

At birth I petitioned God to send me back
take another stab at my becoming,
bear me an older sister first.

My bruising wasn’t drawn-out,

because I have an aunt made of Kansas winds,

bluegrass anthems, and larks.

Life well-nigh bursts from my skull

when we coin cliffhangers,

raiding riverbeds 

for haunted lives.

At sixteen, she doesn’t tell my parents 

I embody riots.

I don’t tell her 

her favorite whiskey made teenage nights sour.

She is my apartment 

on days I bite my nails to their beds.

I saunter in her lobby 

when I need to remember

how to feel my arms

At twenty-three, she lets me in on being an adult

and that sometimes you just need to

curse until your cheeks blister.

We both know we’d be locked up in a psych ward,

if it were the 1950s,

so we remember women with minds like ours

and toast to blood.

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