my sister's skin
shrouds around my bones.
shapes my muscles into mitts
it shoves symmetrical compounds
into predetermined pits.
it's got the good girl in me cryin
it makes my fearful flesh duck down.
it's got me marrow deep in muck
it keeps me from flaunting a gown.
it's got me good.
it's my sister's skin on an petri dish,
it stains the slide glass through and through.
it wiggles with a watching eye,
it stays still with an empty room.
it's got me looking for annulment
mitosis into bread and wine.
a consecration i could turn to
a choir singing ticking time.
a tearful tune i hummed along
but got the melody all wrong.
i don't know one thing about my sister's skin,
i don't know one thing about my sister's skin.
it's my sister's skin
and my bruised up brain
and my broken bones
on my fragile frame.
on my mother's smock
on each piece of cloth
cotton, silk or twill,
with every thread a loss.
night after night
with each whimpered prayer
my frustrated pleas
swarming in mid-air.
with each rendition
a cry for clarity,
with each etched out thought,
a dimly lit marquee.
all this dialogue
all these winding words
all my shameful sin.
it's my sister's sigh,
it's my mother's name,
it's every separate cell
pumping within my veins.
i shred my skin,
what's gone is gone.
i'm full of holes but still someone.
they don't need to know about my sister's skin, no.
they don't need to know about my sister's skin.
a response to Kevin Devine's "Brother's Blood"
a listen to the song will allow you to hear how it is meant to be read--
thank you for the inspiration Mr. Devine.