New Poem : My Sister Lives Upstairs ( Rough First Draft)

My Sister Lives Upstairs

My sister lives upstairs.

 

She’s been living there

for one year and nine months,

 

a horrible whisper of a girl,

whom I love with everything I have.

 

She’s a dislikable warrior, rewarded

for her dedication with mutilated bones,

a sluggish pulse and a dirty blonde fur.

 

Yesterday, my sister nearly took my eyes out

with her jagged nails. They broke away

to stubs on contact with the tops

of my cheekbones.

 

I had asked her if she would

consider coming down for dinner.

 

Last week, winter almost killed her.

She lay there, above her duvet, shivering.

 

She looked like frost humanised.

 

We sat outside her bedroom,

waited for her last, brutally dry cough.

 

For the dull, heavy sound

of her head smacking the pillow.

 

For the book she has been reading

for over a year to topple to the floor.

 

But somehow my sister made it,

and winter made her even more vicious

and cunning and powerful.

 

When my sister moves her tiny, milky hands

it sounds like paper tearing.

 

She sees each rip between her fingers

as a success. She smiles past the pain.

 

The blood takes forever to clot

into rusted stains on her hungry skin.

 

Everything about her is feather fragile,

but she is mighty in guarding her illness.

 

She has teeth collected in a washed out

jam jar on her nightstand. She adds new ones

when no one is looking.

 

Her condition makes her as unreliable

as a ghost.

 

When my sister smiles she smiles

more than you or I.

 

She uses all of the muscles

in her face.

 

She looks like a nightmare,

with the black gaps in her little mouth

behind the blue hole of her lips.

 

My sister lives upstairs,

drifting in a sea of bed covers and pillows.

 

We live downstairs,

whispering to each other that she will pull through,

 

but each one knows the other

is lying.

 

The lantern of recovery

went out a long time ago.

 

Now, it’s just a matter of time,

dark, horrible, excruciating time

before my sister’s fight with her life ends.

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