For My Sister

by: Emily Monroe

_

She’s been crunching klonopin
and sniffing ground up bits of yesterday
trying to make sense of it all
this day
this solid ground

She sits on the edge of falling apart
stuck in the pink lipped softness of a dream
wet like a womb or an almost rotten peach
and she’s cutting the insides out,
digging for truth in the softness of her own skin
begging for the kiss of oxygen that will breathe brightness into blue blood

She ran so close to forgetting she could stick out her tongue
and taste it.
but there’s no such thing as forgetting
there is only a string of marathons sewed together
that loop back to where we started
and after a while everyone’s legs start to cramp
but we run
still.

She’s playing the tune that she learned
from watching through the slit in the door
the door that was meant to be closed
the curve of a cheek caught in the mirror’s teeth
a freckled half moon
a whisper, can I watch while you –
a door slammed closed.

But when I close my eyes
I still see two fingers shoved in your mouth
cheeks bouncing on a never ending smile
your legs curled beneath you on the bottom bunk
my arms wrapped around you to wait out the storm
the weight of your frown as you begged me
begged me to just play with you a little longer

I will remember how to play
I will remember the way you laughed
red head bobbing
before red meant blood
before red meant sweatshirts pulled low over arms
before red meant hieroglyphics carved on the walls of an empty heart
I will remember you

you were me
and I was you before I knew you
before I looked at you
before I really looked at you

before you learned the melody that despair composes on willing arms

a mirror on an angle
catching the metal’s glint
that set your face on fire