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crop circles in the carpet MAG
I am unchangingly
and most fondly
my brain is recently branded by
this thought and I ache
from the imprint of the heat on my skin, bone tired
I drag myself upstairs, dying for a cigarette but
reeking of a lack of effort to even do that.
I arrive on the top floor.
the hazy, golden nightlight of childhood
washes the carpeting & rather than
make my ritualized right
(in the direction of my bedroom, my “utopia of peace” since seventh grade),
I loop to the left,
entering my younger sibling's
I watch my seven-year-old
sister, body usually taut
with energy & conflict & shrieks & schemes
slumber on, despite the floorboard that
creaks with complaint below me.
the jealousy I feel, I cannot describe –
for despite the fact that I lose consciousness on a
daily interval, I never feel a peace,
a release from my
permanent tension, worry,
fear of failure & a cynicism
that smacks of toppled idealism & disappointment.
at 17, in my family I am
the estranged daughter who doesn't belong
but remains there, presence only
a painful reminder of the
that exists; in the equation describing
the force of my parents' love,
distance is directly proportional to its magnitude.
and in sitting with my
sigh, head tilted back against Carolina's dresser
and fingers gripping the carpeting, I feel as if i
am trespassing here.
as if I am stealing the watery moment in this room,
trying desperately to catch it as it pours
through my hands.
I look at her again.
when I was seven, I knew nothing of the fear
that would wake me at age eight & throw myself off
my top bunk bed
to protect my other sister,
only fifteen months my junior,
on the bed below.
I breathe the nightlight &
Madeline L'Engle on tape in
one clean breath, better than any cigarette.
but then reality returns:
this is not my room, as spongebob was not
even popular until I was in fifth grade –
my sister is not a loving connection to childhood, and
at best, I am no more than a distant figure
that she vaguely admires,
and my favorite childhood author
whose voice I now hear whispering
of Charles Wallace & Meg Murry & Genesis & tesseracts
is dead now, as of last year, and
barely known to my sister:
a voice to fall asleep to,
a story not understood.
as senior year prowls nearer,
seven is so far away;
the longest stretch of ten years
I can think of.
with this as reason enough
I finally justify the effort for
that cigarette &
curl my toes into the carpet for support
& boost myself up.