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Jellyfish Oct 20
You ask me for a favor,
I said I have to decline.
When you ask why,
I feel full with pressure

Deep down I think
So I can live my life.
You push for more;
Vague details aren't enough

I feel so anxious,
Why isnt no enough?
You push harder
and I tell you I got a job.

You try to ask me what
and I say it's a secret..
It's mine to keep private
You ignore me.

Days pass until they stop,
You decided to lash out.
You accused me of things,
I feel pushed around.  

I'm tempted to tell you
Just how abrasive you are.
But I take time to process
And respond with charm.

You ignore me again,
I feel a bit burdened..
But you're so passive aggressive,
With your uncomfortable expressions

I didn't make you have kids,
I didn't tell you to run away,
I never made your choices
It's me who I obey.
Jellyfish Oct 10
Part of me wants to scream these words from a high place and hear then echo back; "I'm sorry!"

I'd pretend every person from my past was shouting it back to me and maybe then I'd actually be able to let it all go.

I could stand up straight and look others in the eye without having to wonder about their every lie.

I'd never have to hear my sister tell me I need to forgive again. I could say to her face
"I already have"

That would make me feel so happy and full, to know she can no longer say to herself "my sister is a fool."
Ira Desmond Sep 22
Our trajectory is unknowable, you
tell me: the planet
corkscrews around the Sun, sure,

but the Sun corkscrews around
a black hole at
the heart of the Milky Way,

and our whole galaxy travels on
some mysterious, incalculable vector. But sister, I
saw a photograph in

which two whale
sharks were brought to
heel by men in simple reed boats just

off the coast of the Philippines.
All that they had
to do was often feed

the whales gallons of grocery-store
frozen shrimp, poured from
plastic garbage

bags into their yawning
six-foot maws to portside.
Gargantuan, sure, but still

as obedient and eager for food
as backyard squirrels. I
remembered a grainy

internet video—I saw
it was probably seven or
eight years back—in which

a captured whale shark
was winched
ashore in Madagascar, or

maybe it was the
Philippines again—no matter—
the thing still had life left

in it and struggled to
breathe while a crowd of
people gathered around—there were

women carrying babies,
girls holding baskets atop
their heads—and then the

men came with a long slender
blade and sliced clean through
the whale’s spine, vivisected it

right there on the dock, and
the onlookers stood there quite
unfazed—I remember

being shocked at
the effortlessness of the cut,
the pinkness of the whale’s blood,

and the boredom in the onlookers'
eyes. Our father
took us down to San Antonio

on one of his business
trips there when we were five
or six—I think

you were probably
too young to
remember it—

it was when you and I
saw the ocean for the first
time. We drove down

to the Gulf of Mexico,
and we saw waves breaking
out near the horizon in pale

sunlight. I kept
scanning for a dorsal
fin off beyond

the breakers, thinking
that I might spot one—
sandy brown, mottled with

cream spots and glistening—so
that I might be able to
say to you, pointing, “look,

sister, there is a whale
shark!” Years
later we would learn

that he traveled down
to San Antonio so
frequently because he was a

philanderer. As a child I
believed that whale sharks
crisscrossed the ocean following

paths that we couldn’t
fathom, that
their concerns were

somehow beyond our
comprehension, but then
Keppler pinned down

the shape of the
Earth’s orbit over four hundred
years ago,

and the lives of ancient
sea titans are sundered

by men with indifferent faces.
m lang Aug 26
i’ve been shielding myself endlessly
for an inevitable end— that,
while i knew it was always coming,
it doesn’t stop the reality of tomorrow
impaling me, breathless.

on one desperate hand,
i’m begging and wishing
for just one more day.
one more moment before you go.
the other hand holds gratitude.
five years with you was more than i could have ever dreamt.
life went up and down-
and sideways
in every which direction,
but you stood in the middle with me
and we held on to each other.

as the last five years dwindle
through a reel of memories
into our final moments,
i am filled with tears—
pouring from my eyes and from my heart.
love is pouring from my heart.
love for you,
for this lifetime we lived together.

you are my greatest love.
and our love story continues,
even as this chapter is closed.
i wrote this in the early hours of 8/26 and initially wrote tomorrow, and by the time i finished the poem, tomorrow became today- hence the title.
Anais Vionet Jun 1
Holidays go by quickly, as if they don’t want to hang around. My life seems to be happening at warp speed.

Lisa and I start our two-month summer fellowships tomorrow. It’s hard to believe it’s actually happening. Like most things in my life, this fellowship started as an obligation to my mom - shrouded in vague, emotional shadows - to perform the impossible.

I’d like to become a doctor but it’s no milk run. And while ambition is powerful, it isn’t magic. Yale has advisors to guide us but my mom, who has one Dr. daughter already and a son in med school  believes her every suggestion is sacrosanct. She’s usually right, but still (shrug), I’m here.

My mom did have one good idea - going to France over vacation. Peter got to meet my Grandmère and I got to visit with some of my cousins - those spoiled-rotten, monied members of “the fancy” - who have no ambitions, no goals and no self-worth other than their momentary possessions. By the time Peter and I left, I was itching to get back to work.

You only get one chance at life and if you’re lucky you’re good at something. Think of all the people who were born in the desert - who would have been the greatest swimmers or skiers ever - but never had the chance to try. I’m chanell.

Lisa and I are at my sister Annick’s 10th floor, 4-bedroom apartment, in Boston. I don't think she stays here anymore. She’s engaged, and my bet is that she’s living at his place. At first, she pretended that wasn’t true, that she was just thinking of staying there while Lisa and I are here.

Ok, I thought to myself, but why is everything in the fridge brand new?
“Where’s your cat?” I asked, like a detective reeling in a crook.
“Ok,” Annick admitted with a laugh, “you exposed my dishonesty."

Lisa and I’ll have this apartment to ourselves for two months. It’s a feeling that’s joyful, selfish and marvelous. We can see the hospital where Lisa and I will be working from Annick’s balcony - it’s that close. Annick bought this place because she’s a doctor in residence there.

I got in from Paris yesterday. I’m jet lagged and toey about tomorrow. I doubt I’ll get much sleep tonight. Even though I’m making a great display of calm, idle boredom, Annick knows better.
“Are you guys nervous?” She asked.
Lisa immediately declared “Hells, yes!”
I was thinking of holding strong, but after a second, I mumbled “Yeah.”

I’m really hoping I’ll be good at this fellowship business.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Sacrosanct: “sacred or holy”

the fancy = the very idle rich
chanell = lucky
toey = nervous, edgy
miki May 24
my sister walked in the door
a grim face and no words
i’ve never seen her like this before
she sat beside me, dragging her feet on the cold linoleum the entire way,
three cushions down
and stared blankly at the tv
“i’m really tired”
she says she only got an hour of sleep
i didn’t know what to say
i had seen the news

i could feel the sadness
it poured out of her and sept into anything in its path
i can feel my heart slowly breaking
i don’t think she noticed
she lays down with a blanket
and closes her eyes
she’s not sleeping, but i didn’t know how to help
i had seen the news

i told her
go sleep in my room
go get a snack
go home for a while
but she never listens to me
i just wanted her to be okay
i didn’t really expect this time to be different, after all
i had seen the news

she didn’t sleep
she didn’t eat
she didn’t go home
she just lay there
in silence
for hours
i kept thinking about the news

i worried all day for her
and when she finally went home that night
i still worried for her
i cried for hours
all i wanted was to help her
i didn’t know how to help her
all i knew is that
i had seen the news
Andy Chunn Nov 2022
“She toddled in the mighty Duck
And almost never was”
Whether by design or luck
Or maybe just because

Summertime in Tennessee
So scorching hot and dry
The family thought a swim could be
Relief so we would try

While swimming came so easy
For most of us that day
But Mom was water queasy
So on the bank she lay

My friend and I, we swam like fish
In the deep Duck River
A day that would make you wish
This fun could last forever

My baby sister was so small
She could barely walk
She toddled and then down would fall
And jabbered with her talk

So Dad had moved into the deep
That’s when I saw it well
My sister ran without a peep
Into the Duck she fell

Momma screamed and I just froze
And out of sight she went
The muddy Duck would now propose
Another life be spent

My Dad had sprung to action
On hearing of the scream
He dived as a reaction
Into the muddy stream
And many years would pass us by
She studied hard and long
Nothing was too tough to try
She never got it wrong

A Ph.D and drug design
She makes the pills you need
If you were really in a bind
And needed meds indeed

She plays piano and reads the books
And knows so much inside
She sews and cleans and then she cooks
With logic as her guide

Accomplishments on every level
Complete and tried and true
But humble, never would she revel
In all that she could do

He came back up and looked around
His eyes began to beg
He dived again and there he found
And grabbed her by the leg

Upside down he pulled her up
And water did pour out
And soon we heard her cry startup
Relief without a doubt

Remembering that day and so
A blessing to repay
That was sixty years ago
But feels like yesterday

I sometimes think of all the luck
That happened just because
“She toddled in the mighty Duck
And almost never was”
Gem Palomar Jul 2022
You don't know how much
I am willing to surrender
just to give you even an ounce
of hope
and sunshine that I have

I can't wait to see you
genuinely happy,
in solitude,
in the company of others,
in the mundane

My tuahine, I love you.
I do not know how to tell you,
but your existence
makes my world
a little more bearable
Tuahine means sister in Māori
birdy Jun 2022
my sister was like a music box,
gentle and pristine
I made her rugged
her walk and her talks

I opened my skin
exposing my mind
and I fear her gears cannot be rewind

her perfect clockwork now intertwined
with coils of my past

I have failed as eldest
it should not be her burden
to carry trauma I've amassed
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