Monday, April 27, 2020

A Child Stares at Her Palm

I am your sister. Your legs were shiny and stuck together
and I tried to unstick them. Roots dug their claws into you,
spread their tentacles deep. Leaves pushed their way out
through your skin, turned their faces toward the bulb.
Your sister lined the shelves with decorative paper.
Your bare feet were also shiny like mirrors
and they sunk into the ground and stuck there.
Your fingers were slender and slightly bent,
the angles were slightly too sharp.
Your sister crossed the empty parking lot diagonally
and burst into feathers. The rain forced us to crawl.
The lizard trainer's booth was in the back of the room,
next to the concessions. You would always remember
his generosity, his charity. You placed
the cuttings in jars of rusty water on the windowsill.
A globule of saliva clung to your lip
but would not drop. Your sister ironed the tablecloth
and folded the heavy napkins. They placed
a sheet of rubber over your body
before sliding you into the machine
in order to take pictures of your insides
before it burst into seed. You wrapped your prey
in sticky threads so they'd still be there
when you returned from the dry cleaners.
The lizards' tongues darted out and
became entangled. You watched the trainer
patiently unknot them, stroking their scaly heads
to soothe them. He never taught you anything.
Your sister spread the wiring underneath her
so it might become coated with her creamy drippings.
You were always handcuffed together. Filled
the back seat full of soil.The trunk grew
right through the garage door. The doctors
were baffled. The mirrors were flyspecked.
There was always a space between the fence
and the wall. I am that fence,
I am that wall, I am your sister.

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