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The Dutiful Sister Ever Failing

She was not heavy—my sister. The burlesque
is when you open her to find the composition entirely chain.

What happened was the sea. Let the sea stand in for death.
Faith. She approached the sea reluctantly, but could not acquiesce.

And spinning herself gold
and walking away, each step more cumbersome than the last,

she was an open glove, fingers darned with bleeding.
Her bones, how light they had been.

She walked curtain after curtain to links, shifting, gaining gravity—
also she was less substantial. All of her

was only there to hold herself together. Hands, hands, more hands.
If she were paper, she would be dolled, holding her own, almost infinitely.

It might be this, to be a ghost, to be unprotected by the body, to must
touch reality, a tongue, at the very least—others.

She was not waspish—she sought not. She asked me to lift her—
she was a series of perfect o’s—to take her somewhere green.

She was mail, even if you call them months, or mouths.
Even if you could pierce her, and I could not. She was

unstung. If only: a hatpin. If only
I could hold her, and carry her as a father would.

When I let her go, she stopped asking for me to let her go.
I laid her down between thick roots and waited for her

to disappear upwards, taking cover in leaves.
She folded down, letting leaves cover her, more armor.

We passed autumn that way, staring into each other,
her face gnawing away at itself.

Can you want your heart to die? I wanted
that. Rather than keeping her as she was keeping—

leatherbark, eroded cropland. What there
held in place by dead root and ethic.

Or by metal—a sick color—the sea not the sea.
Take it that I trust faith not. Beautiful word.

I played at, no—        was
the dutiful sister ever failing.

Fail.                Now—
there’s a beautiful name for a girl.