Christian Araujo

Ben Hildreth

my sister, with cherry stained fingertips, breaks herself open at the jaw.

she says she is afraid of open water, but i know of the sharks she keeps in jewelry boxes.

 

moth wings pressed under her tongue, she finds her home in swimming pools and girls with nectarine flesh.

she presses flowers between her lungs with every breath and she only finds softness in hostile acts

 

i

only know how to rip myself open from the inside out (splayed belly and uneven slices) but

my sister’s tragedies are oil paintings (like she only knows bleeding if it is pretty)

 

they say my sister and i have the same voice, but i keep mine wrapped in tissue paper and shoved up my sleeve. she’s poured hers into tiny glass bottles, screwed shut and lined up on her bookshelf

 

we were both raised on splinter&marrow (but i’m the only one of us who can digest broken glass)

we are both stone hewn and ruin bound (but she has built herself of a different skin)

 

we know each other 

through unlit whispers and shadows on unpainted walls, we find ourselves in each other’s negative space, and i know somehow that one day, we will break ourselves apart (like our father taught us to)

“mouths filled with water cannot speak above the sea” by molly boggs

“i’ve only ever seen the ocean from

the middle of it”

by molly boggs

if i should wake up tomorrow still tangled in this skin, i would sew shut my open palms and turn out my pockets for you. i have this vision where i paint myself red and disappear into your honey clotted wounds

 

it wasn’t easy to pretend you didn’t hurt, you know

when i picture you, it’s all bone-song and etching constellations into bathroom tiles and i have to remind myself that you only have wings when i close my eyes

 

i imagine right now you are annotating a play and pretending the slices in you fingertips are universal

like they are more than torn at the edges, like they justify the space you are filling 

 

all you’ve ever taught me is what love is supposed to hurt like, but by know i’ve figured out you can’t analyze broken skin. sometimes a bruise is just a bruise, and nothing more

 

all i’ve ever had were my words but i think that they are breaking off my body now, like rotting branches

 

i’ve been told i don’t know how to love and i’ve been told i don’t know how to grieve 

and now i’m not sure i know the difference between the two

Leah Leonard

Vitor Santos

Pop Art

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