"thank you sissy: part one" by Ty Zeanah
time to think. too much time to think. to think about everything and nothing. and i. and her. and you. and me. and how we were a we before you were her and i was me. before the bed was made on the floor, before the front door was locked in a twisted grin of iron, before the cul-de-sac learned to flick our names with a hot, pavement tongue like a BiC lighter, before the street sign solicited us to run with all the steamed breath a metal throat could muster in the mouth of morning‒
she was you, and i was me, you became my sister, i became your sister, you and me became we, against everything and nothing.
time to think. too much time to think. to think about the secrets we keep. about the secrets we didn’t know we were keeping. time to think about the memories of everything we wished to remember and nothing we didn’t. you were given to me and me to you and there we were and he was he. wasn’t he? i cried and you screamed, we slept side by side, and he was he; wasn’t he the final word and the bed on the floor, wasn’t he the locked front door and the cul-de-sac we couldn’t leave. and we were children playing don’t touch the sun, laughing in the face of every monstrous bedtime story, because we grew up with one. didn’t we?
time to think. the right time to think. to think about everything you did to protect me and nothing you wouldn’t have done to protect us against what we didn’t know was happening. i was little, and you were littler, but we became giants together when we became we. didn't we? she was you, and i was me, you became my sister, i became your sister, you and me became we, against everything that could have single-handedly killed me. monsters as monsters weren’t scary but a man as a monster was a different kind of story, entirely. i learned to swallow my breath and you taught me how to breathe without feeling guilty. and if i was me. and you were she. and how if we never became a we, if i was only me, and you were only she, i probably would have let the monster harvest my lungs and slowly kill me.