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Anissa Aguila Apr 2020
The most prominent year of my childhood
Was the one in which we shared a bedroom.
In a classic telling of time dilation,
It's the only part I can recall,
As if we spent years sharing nightmares and visions
And secrets that we buried in the graying carpet.
The carpet is musty
And there is cat hair in our brown hair from when he
Slithers into the dollhouse when
Our backs are turned.
We shake him out and
He bolts down the stairs.
We climb up the stairs in tactile daydreams
Where we can play the piano
And speak boldly. We speak softly
To not wake your mother,
Asleep from the nightshift next room over.
We dig our fingers in the carpet in the mornings
Sat between my mother’s knees
As she pulls our hair into matching styles.
We are uneven twins,
Short and tall,
Curled and straight,
Loud and faint.
Even now, without the matching dresses
Or braids,
Which are now cut and dyed
As if we mutually agreed it was tied to something we needed to forget.
We unlearn the role of xeriscape ghost,
And we hunt the ones that haunted us
When you left after a year,
Your mother pulling you into a car seat,
And mine, indoors.
In another classic case of time dilation,
No time passed at all.
Anissa Aguila Apr 2020
Every day, at 3 o’ clock, on the dot, I check the mail.
I walk around the corner of the street in bare feet,
And I feel the sidewalk heat seep into my body,
Up my legs,
Making the skin tingle for the rest of the day.
The other day, a car turned around and followed me.
I thought,
What will it be today,
Kidnapped or catcalled?
I got to the mailbox and he pulled up next to me, window down, head out.
Oh, he said, just checking the mail.
Yes, I said.
Just wanted to make sure you were okay, walking away with no shoes, you seemed to be in trouble.
No trouble, I said, just mail. Im okay. Thank you.
He pulled away.
Parked at the house next to mine.
New neighbor.
Are you okay?
Do you feel this numbness as well?
Do you also wake up dizzy and strange?
I eat until I feel something.
I don’t until all I feel is hunger.
Your driveway is overflowing, neighbor.
Do you feel alone?
Do the dogs keep you up at night?
Does the news?
I’m sorry about the noise, neighbor.
I sing until my throat is sore, and then keep going.
I’m okay, neighbor.
I’m just checking the mail.
There’s nothing today,
But maybe tomorrow.

— The End —