so much left unsaid about
the woman who washed our hair
in the river and the tv that peeled itself lemon
static and our limbs buzzed and we were
animals not afraid of being animals
and we tore acidity from the apartment windows
and our walls cried blue and watercolor and the only thing
left was the shrine we made to the crack in our mother’s
head from which we were born, pulled like sea foam and fake california
sun– the color of your hair, a discarded hand from the yellowy clouds
aren’t you tired of living this way, aren’t you too old to
be sucking thumbs and playing the wind like a six string guitar.
your tongue walks penny circles around me
and the phone loses its purple mind and i am
ashamed of the flickering light on your face and how
people have always thought you were younger than you are.
sister, pray to the god of our broken carburetor and the black hair
we found in the sink you spit skin and yellow blood into
pray to the god of my broken lip and the boy who shattered your knee
before state and the highway we ran away to: kneel to its fluorescent lights
and the dark, empty night that pooled at us and
the navy color of your mouth when you told me you
were so lost, a bulimic deer in headlights,
that you were getting closer to angels and further from yourself.
Lilly, like the flower, like a thousand, golden unpicked hands,
I looked up to you like a moth sees heaven and your hair was
the shade mine almost was and my greatest
shame is that mother liked me best.
Lilly, sister, hand. hand that gave mine its softness,
I know I am not as strong as you, I know you grew up
in a closed mouth sun, that you were too much for too much
but I don’t know if you miss me, or if even that would be enough.
the last time I saw you, purple lipstick made me cry. you looked too cold to be
the pavement I had grown up burning my feet on, you looked too cold for the interstate,
for the intersection. you were my god. and worse, you
were my sister. now I pray to the half of the grapefruit I promise
myself I’ll eat tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow like tomorrow
is the knife you put in my hands. if I saw you only once,
it was the back of your car: a cloud of hot,
cicada yellow exhaust when i learned that
there is only God and everyone else.