phantom in the mirror ; sister sister

She’s a phantom, but very real to me.

Best friend in the bunk bed. Partner in
the play pretend.
I didn’t know her as rider, but she
devours deep desires and she spits
them out like rain. Gives me confidence
again. Rides the world,
fucks the blame.
Ruthlessly, she burns so bright and
swings with single-minded might. She’s right
according to her rules and she’s right;
a most intelligent fool. We
jest, jester. I jest. Just her. Mellow
till a frenzy festers and erupts.
Laughter like witches, delirium, full cups-
she makes me proud and angry and
proud and sad and
proud and euphoric and
proud and mad. And she heals me
without taking back. Post-mental-
break, pre-heart attack.
Day after day. Week into
next. And we bark and
we bite, but then we hug, won’t lose sight.
Bound by love but close by labor,
child, you’re my best friend and my savior.

A poem I wrote about my younger sister. Sibling relationships are volatile things – that’s usually a given. But I am very lucky to have a family that love me as they do, and my sister has been my best friend for the longest time. Through my every insecurity she has been there to fill me with strength and confidence. Despite arguments (and boy there have been some), I appreciate her presence in my life.

I always thought that we two were incredibly similar as a child, but I’ve begun to realise that, as the older sibling, these may have been similarities that I was unconsciously enforcing. We were encouraged to dress like twins for many years being a year apart in age and we began to want this for ourselves. Then came the pre-teenage years in which I (first) began to strike out and want my ‘identity’ back (as if I knew what that was at the age of 12 or 13), which turned out to be nothing when compared to the natural differences we’re discovering (as I stand before you at the ripe old young adult age of 20 years old). Once upon a time these differences were seen as a negative, but I’ve come to realise that these differences should be celebrated; we’re growing into mature (and here I snicker) young adults. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m proud of her individuality.



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