13 March 2018

When you were five and I a head taller
we snapped the arms of plastic dolls
in the hopes of making them bend.

Cross-legged, we sat
on your braided bedroom floor
and I frowned when you lay
Ken on top of Barbie.

Sisterhood was a great excuse
to watch cartoons before school.
With pigtails crushed against filmy couch lips,
we let our plaid dresses hike up to our underwear
because nobody was watching.

In the afternoon, we halfheartedly watched old game shows
because nothing else aired (what do you want to watch?)
and we were too young to waste away our hours
with white wine.

We’d press our legs together in the air
in a competition of who could push the hardest; a faux labour.
When our bone pillars slipped
we shrieked! we tensed! we roared!
because who knows what may have happened
if we’d have let them collapse.

I didn’t want to tell mum
about the first time I kissed a boy
so I told you instead.
You said it was cool

but squirmed a little
at the thought of someone’s tongue
tickling your own.

We waved away plenty of months (bye-bye)
and riiiiiiiipped them from our calendars.
You coated your bubblegum walls a toothpaste white
and suddenly, I didn’t have time for your
palette powders (no you can’t do my makeup today).

At dinner time
we would sit on opposite ends of the table
while the adults were busy playing
cat and mouse.
We dangled church bells in our soup
not talking much as
we listened to them chime.

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