Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Melissa King: An interview with sisters

The younger’s fidgeting embarrassed the older,
the “good Armenian daughter” in her UCLA sweatshirt,
modest ponytail and disguised eyes.
The dirty orange chili fries were meant to distract us,
give the younger sister something to do
with her paint-flecked, swaying hands
which flung her emotions all across the sticky table
into the ice-cold, air conditioned atmosphere where
it twisted into an apricot thunderstorm
catching us up in it so I couldn’t breathe,
causing her sister to cry tiny tears and whisper
“I can say nothing.”

They were shifty, textured mirrors of one another,
energies moving in tandem,
and private broken windows
into different experiences of survivorship
that only they could look through,
sharing desire across the borders of Armenian-“ness,”
their way of protecting self and sister
from angry alcoholic rants,
sleeping in a cold car out of frustration,
or collapsing, a sudden wild breath
of memory, loneliness, a death in the family,
tortured at not remembering how to play chess,
too intimate to talk about
but so loud the thunder and lightening: “When
is it going to be enough?”

I can say nothing.

Copyright 2016, Melissa King

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