A Letter of Explanation to My Sister
I’m saying I agree with you. I am a monster. I’m a lawless under-the-bed, no-good,
evil-eyed, consuming fiend. You’re right. You hear me? You’re right.
Once in winter, I buried a water frog, the family pet, frozen in the garage. Suspended in a block
of ice, arms of toothpicks, spread as if catching itself, or flying away, and those fingers.
I took the starry corpse, suspended in its grave and said look, and you screamed, and told and so
I went on with it. Found the shovel. The dirt was frozen stiff. But I figure, Sis, we’re all bound
to freeze and thaw and freeze and thaw, forgotten in a hole somewhere someday. It’s not sad.
It’s a promise. But I’m saying, I get why I’m this beast to you. I don’t know if you knew,
but there was a time long ago, but not too long for me to recall, where a shoebox of kittens
was my job to keep. I’d come home each day and count them down. Runt to firstborn.
Mama cat without the milk, just there, unaware of death, may have eaten them otherwise,
and us, with no time, or money, or rooms, or milk, or carpet in the basement.
And us, with very few family dinners, never really welcomed them or said goodbye. Just let
them die. All five nameless and gone in a week. When we speak again, sis, in real life,
I’ll tell you things of a box full of naked baby bodies in my hands, the heavy, the sound
a kitten corpse makes when hitting his brother. The slap and the way you cup their spines
with both hands and stack their bodies like ham, and I know now you’re dying to stop me
but Sis, if I don’t tell you this, who will? I think cardboard could hold my body fine.
This and so many other reasons, I’m sure, is why I agree with you here. I’m a freak-bitch. Yes!
I bite the cheek meat in your sleep. I don’t care. I laugh at death and growl at the ground
while I dig. I stab the cold earth too hard to hide a body, and throw it in the bushes instead,
so you’re right. I never cried like you. And sis, it’s the first time I’m saying this
but it’s good you know by now the color of a blind eye sealed shut, how the pupil, when dilated
under dead skin looks like a hole in the mud too shallow for a frog. And I’ll tell you what
cause I agree, the monster of me looks like a wide-eyed brute giving hardly any shits
about where the dead end up. I’ll hold the heads of all things you’re too afraid to touch.
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