Thursday, December 17, 2009
poem; or, truths about having a sister
that you cried at her wedding reception while you gave your toast the way good brothers are supposed to cry at their sister’s wedding. that you cried the way bad brothers who want to be better brothers cry at their sister’s wedding.
that you would have waited for your baby teeth to fall out on their own had she not knocked a few out during races in the backyard.
that you gave her a scar on her finger fighting over which one of you would cut the apple.
that you never think to thank her until she asks. that that’s what brothers do.
that you are a better writer because of her. that the way she ripped into your middle school essays which made you literally rip them up then rewrite them and hide the second, third and fourth drafts from her, but turn in the best middle school essay you have ever written. that she believes in you and that’s why.
that you were nested in the same womb, listening to the same heart beat for nine months, the same experience five years apart.
that you both have inherited nagging.
that she resembles your younger brother more than she does you.
that she is, too, a gemini, and when you get along you are the same person. when you do not it is the end of days.
that you share gray-area truths, like both hating and loving a father. possessing a fear your brother born in the states never knew. and straight out dark truths about ghosts and wars and suicide attempts and hating your bodies and vomit and the infidelity of parents and men who are flawed who are uncles whom you despise and the love that ferries you through it all.
that she has more handbags than you do. that she steals your clothes.
that when she wants you to be proud of her it takes you by surprise, because you seek her validation as if it is the sound of your mother’s heart beat. that her pride is a version of your mother’s beating heart.
that she wants you to write a poem about her. you’ve tried and there was this: the poems display her in a light that isn't flattering. that it doesn’t address what she really wants you to do, compliment her. but they show her importance to you. that they end up being about more. more than her. but because of her.