My Sister

NOT JUST PIERCED WITH SHRAPNEL. A concussion, at least, from the force of contained explosion. Blew the roof off. Smashed her to the ground. Breath was rapid and irregular. Limbs splayed at irregular angles from black pajamas, singed.

"My brother," she said. I understood her. "Take the gourd and fill it or father will strike me." I didn't know how to tell her. It was too late. "Take it, brother. Brother who loves me."

My sister, there is still a chance father will let us leave, live happily alone together beyond the mountain. The hillside, the jungle is not a place of blood and fire: it has been a happy place for many thousands of years, and our own souls have loved each other here as birds, as monkeys, and in the cloak of the worms of the earth. I'm going to take you with me, whether or not father allows. We leave now! As soon as I return trippingly from the creek. The gourd is full, the water cold and clean.

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