My Sister As Myself
Poem By Indigo Hawkins
returning to my first home, it smells
like transcendentalism and THC, as if
the smeared memory of his green canvas coat
has stained the poplar floor.
he emerged whey-faced from the woods,
crunching branches beneath black boots,
awkward and ill but still in command.
my friend, my guardian, the executioner
who shot my first scruple of self
years ago under this stellar silk sky
with five efficient jolts of violence,
crushed bones and silence
shattered by cicada calls
and craven cries of crippled loyalty
stands in the starlight, waiting
below splintering stairwells
squatters tattoo slavery into their skin,
freed but still unsatisfied without shackles
to strain against; terrified of being stolen,
they feel neither sane nor secure.
I haggle with a shrewd-eyed crone over cash
until she snaps and shoves her own at me;
distressed, I press it back into her palms and say,
“here, this is yours. this belongs to You.”
the bills are tossed haphazardly above us.
“does it? ” she cackles and I am captivated;
the money burns in bitter air and drifts
downward in a crescendo of tumultous loss.
I glimpse him then, vigilant, wearing his regulation
hunter green coat, and I remember another night
of senseless waste and how meaningless it seems now,
as I witness the anxiety in his eyes.