Day 10 of 30

FOR MY SIBLINGS
(two of the three, though I love the baby too!)

my older sister is home from college
shows up at the door
as the tickle monster
her fingers wiggling clawing at my tender belly
typing laughter through my armpits
like a brilliant thesis
until i can’t breathe
while my older brother plugs his ears
and cuts the legs
off a new pair of guess jeans
bleaches them the day after our mother
breaks a check
so that he can avoid
fists in his gut
sucker punches and bully songs

our mother yells
sings them anyway in a broken tone
her best rendition of love
the best she could do at the time
to hold on hold on
wrap her fingers around his throat
tears trickle and tickle the
back of mine

and i wish my sister was there
and i take up for him
and he takes it out on me
and it may not come out of me
or it may later on
and later on i realize

we are a poem

a poem for real with the things
that poems need to be poems
and people need to be family

one that is strange and lovely
one that is ugly and interesting
my older sister and brother
the line and break
the rhythm and scheme
the wonders that somehow
made me letter

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