Dear Little Sister

Little Sister,

 

Please, baby sister

Stop tearing at your body.

Your heart

Your soul

Is crying,

Baby sister

You will never find purpose in the clouds of smoke

The easy warmth of momentarily forgetting,

The knife that was not meant to carve your soft and precious skin

Or the clothes too tight

Suffocating the knowledge you are already borne with

You are beautiful dear sister.

 

My breath is caught

I am petrified

Frozen by the fear

Of what you may have done.

Are you alive?

Will you be alive tomorrow?

 

Each time mama calls

My body ties itself into that familiar knot,

Curling into itself

Terrified

Confused

Bitter

Still after all these years hopeful, though I do not know how.

 

You have stolen

To feel powerful,

To further the narrative you crave

If you are bad, bad things happen to you

You do not have to blame yourself even as you are filled with hatred for yourself

You have laid down your body

Opened your legs not for love or lust or boredom

But as a means of exchange,

To forget what it is like to feel inside your own body

To escape the world

To fog in your brain for just another day, hour, momentary laps

In feeling,

You have turned your world inside out

And this world has repelled you for it.

You are not enough it says,

This world has whispered seductively in your ear

The advertisements

Of breasts, waists, hips

Parts

Made to sell a product

Dehumanizing and deadening

Molding our bodies into things with pricetags

Making you believe your differences are your defects.

 

So you starve yourself even though your ribs protrude from your skin-tight tank top

Hack at yourself,

Carving help into your belly

Sell yourself until you have nothing more to give but the empty and foreboding sense of self that is left gasping for air on the bedside table.

 

Because if you look just right

Perhaps they will forget how different you really are,

How you have spent more nights

Trapped in psychiatric facilities

Theraputic boarding schools

Then summer camps,

How you have been told you are different

From the first days you wandered into Kindergarden class rooms 

How you hid under the desk during class parties

Because the terror you felt

The noise

The change

The people you did not know

Was

Real.

 

You are so intent on breathing the chaos you have inside

That those around you can feel only the chaos you have injected into the air

And the world has repelled you.

 

You say I do not know you,

You say I do not understand,

Tell me sweet sister

What it is I fail to see

My sister, sweet sister.

 

How painful it is to both love and dispise someone so deeply,

Terrified of their downfall and wishing for their defeat.

My baby sister,

I do not know how to tell you that you are loved

Without praising your self-loathing,

I do not know how to tell you you are special

Without praising your self-destruction.

 

I am choked by the vitriol you have wrapped around my neck.

And all I can do is slowly rebuild myself

From the pieces you stomped on

So vehemently hated,

All I can do is love you

Despite my anger at the deep red stain you left on my childhood memories.

 

I do not wish you ill sweet sister

But I do not know how best to wish you well either.

 

Always and Forever,

 

Your loving big sister

This poem is about: 
My family

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