Meg Malachi is a data analyst by day and a poet also by day. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.
To My Half Sister
He is a summary.
A brother in synopsis.
The icky reality
of a nuclear brochure.
You and I, though left
to each other,
gawked at solipsism,
trying to evade
a space where affection
comes either whole
or not at all.
A glass never full,
We drown ourselves for years in his shortcomings
only to find that they are our own.
They are inescapable.
We drown. We are drowning.
We flocculate like backwash
and rise only to find
the ullage of love.
You and I,
But you know
the acuteness of the pain
I was not allowed
to feel into existence.
You know because it is your own.
And though I hate it—
those bleak, unaffectionate
moments we shared
those horrible slumps of
sisterhood that we carry
on our backs like corpses
of ancestors we never came to know
—he and me and you is not unknowable.
only half real,
the corners of our lips
carry his cheekbones
to our eyes
and your sweat smells just
I occur in the middle of bills,
a subway, in the middle of day jobs
and burnt greens,
in the middle of clotheslines and
undergarments, industrial odors and natural musk.
I overlap with blue. I want to go home.
The arm of a tiny stranger swings, as if
convinced of the madness within something
nonverbal. I sift through earth
and flying hair and communal breath and wonder how long
it will be until I am still
and there is no more air left to foil.
What is it like to have flesh?
Were they always this way? Where is their symmetry?
I want to go home. Air ducks below me.
I glide in orchestra with yellowing flowers
I am bold over green; the thin blades tickle my
stomach and I never find equilibrium.
I tornado through mouths agape and buckling words, hands and fingers extended
towards me. Proposing something—normalcy, perhaps. But only for so long.
So long as they are still in this park.
So long as it is summer and their bodies are not
too cold. And their shells are rainless.
So long as I ditch my cloak.
I unfold, and amaranthine prospers.
I wear down on alabaster; my feet are light but
my shadow is heavy.
I leap towards the burnt fall of sun, converging. I want to go home.