She was always laughing on the phone.
Bloodied lips, round eyes- her legs always across themselves.
“oh, leave the fool”
“I wasn’t paying attention”
“I don’t really like him”
Those lips can never say a prayer.
can’t whisper sobering words in the dark
Can’t look prim, or proper
“no man will marry you”
those were Mum’s words
She kept a list of lovers, a dirtied paper always on the table- stricken with paint
Tears, nonsense scribbling.
Yesterday I went to her closet, tried some shoes- put her powder
I danced in front of the mirror, threw my head back in imaginary laugher. Just like her
Drew my laughter too long, like I meant it, like I was making music- just like her
Faked tears, let the water ruin the mascara. just like her
Looked straight at my reflection, dapped my face to dryness with a stern look
As if to say, pain won’t kill me, darkness won’t take me- just like her.
I was her little sister and I grew under the shadow of her mystery.
Smiling at her lewd jokes, and keeping her bags.
She would touch my hair softly and pretend to sing a song.
There are things I remember of her.
Under the cold shower, I scrubbed and scrubbed till I bled.
Her stiff, cold hands still haunt me
Mother’s wailing still rings in my ears.
I do not want to remember.