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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