I'll bring the diamonds of my beauty to rest here on this table. I'll smash the fruits of my withering here, on the pale kitchen floor. I will watch you in a mirror, when your hair is down; I'll be a stranger, the best friend you ever had, tormentor, aid, your clown.
You're sitting on a black crate by the plant pots, in the aching ray of the sun. We are circling memory together, putting pieces back where they came from. You remember the old house, just like me. The cherry tree, the dark evenings, Grandma's boiled egg sandwiches with the yolk yellow and running. Dogs, haunting, daylight, and all that we wish we didn't remember, or remembered better.
I never felt as close to you as this, this moment, not in years. And suddenly you are ageless - seven or sixteen, new born, or nearing forty. My sister again, after years of barren yearning, cold shouldering, guilt.
How can I tell you the ways that I love you, that I understand, that I know you? How can I let you carry on pretending, when we both see the way the sky is falling? I wish I could hold you, I wish I were older, or that the sky were bluer. But wishes grow wings that bud and then wither, and I am only a child in this garden of ivy and azelea, and too much scent is wasted on dream and failure.
You stand up now, you say your hands are shaking and you don't understand why. And you love me, I can feel it, you are glad I am here, glad we are talking. As I am glad, for this is for what I was waiting.
But I cannot cross the grey wastes with you, I cannot tramp these marshes. I am tired of loss, but more tired of hoping for sunlight to filter through the cracks in the weather. For all that was pulled apart to be mended.
I can only mend myself, and watch you in the sun, beautiful as ever, soft as a grey mouse, tears like downy feathers. And hold your hand if you want it; and a hug means everything, a cup of tea means the world, when it is made by hands that are like your own, when the sun is leaping in the water, when family means blood; that is running through, circling, shedding, drying, flooding the arteries of our lives, apart and together, unstoppable, ferocious, simple, untethered, precious liquid metal, inexplicable.