returned, she is not a sunset but perhaps a horizon line: MC

to my sister
the Make-Up Criminal

you have always tried to teach me how to steal the world
made sure everyone around us knew you were a threat
imprinted your ferocity onto the identity I hold as a teenager
floating in the midst of a fathomless earth

you pressed lessons into my hands,
laid your fingers over mine and curled them to create a fist
all the more stronger with you holding me up
and you told me things to tuck into the space underneath my jaw
the bend of my wrist and the bone of my ankle

how to be safe, you said

because you have always tried to make me resilient
solid
a gravestone that cannot be pushed or torn by the tide
and I am still soft and easily bruised
gentle in all the wrong ways
but I keep your teachings nevertheless

when you learned self-defense
you locked yourself around me
told me to repeat the breaking of the holds
did it over and over again until my body knew how to twist from violence

but sometimes I have had to pull away from you before you burn me
you make cruelly-edged jokes at my expense
press yourself closer to AQ and let yourself melt into her
enough that you are no longer a single entity
I know that you do this so you don't feel lonely anymore

but I must admit that doesn't make it hurt any less
when you are burning fire and scorching everything around you

at one point you tried to avoid the pain of people
to lift yourself up like a house on stilts
to avoid a flood you knew was coming but overestimated for
so by the time anyone tried to reach you
you were too far away

and sometimes I think that you never came back down at all
I am ashamed to say that I miss the people we used to be
before your stomach was an empty stage quoting Marx to an invisible audience
you kept it hollow so that the echo was audible
a play going on 24/7 only assisted by your anorexia

and
I guess
before I was consumed by depression
torn underneath the waves
turned again and again in somersaults with saltwater blocking my ears and eyes and mouth
like a riptide with its sandy hands gripped tight around me to return my body to the ocean
we all must come back to the dirt eventually

and I love you,
with a conviction that cannot waver
because I am your sister
and am wont to do what sisters should

only in relation to you will I ever use that word referencing me
female in nature and in definition
but for you,
I will.

and I will wait,
I will wait,
wait for you to come back down
and join us again
my sister as she is

because you taught me how to fight without throwing punches
and how to if I had to
you drilled into me how I could take on the world and win

the only thing you ever wanted for me,
I realize now,
was to be safe.

The End

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