For my sister

by on May 8, 2014 :: 0 comments

I was nine when I hit you
in the face for the first
time, and the last –

when my palm caught
your cheekbone, smack
like pounding a root,
like slamming a wrought-
iron fence with a fist

only it’s something
you remember – you,
and I, and our mother
will never let me forget

yet we were so close
in that moment, skin
against skin and my
anger unfolding,
tossing itself from
my hand to your small
bony cheek blossoming
pink and my palm
burning before bruising
in the purple shape of
an oval.

Only you
could have made me
so mad. Which, I think,
is the first thing
I learned about love.

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