under the floods.
when i was born,
my mom used to listen to me breathing, she used to
smell me deeper than addiction; she would count my fingers and toes
so carefully, eyes wider than wonder. she reminded the others
that, a little sister did not mean casualty,
a little sister did not mean a coupe on the love surrounding you,
did not mean terrorized territories on white castles
on the empires you've bordered & volumed in the inventions
of your dreams. she gave them simple instructions:
follow yourselves to the end of the edges
of your thereafter,
do not get choked on the rough sentence in between.
they did not know she had just prophesied
her extent. by "sentence", her children were too young to understand
she meant where our father would end up— twenty five to life—
how it would force us to hunt the breakneck rivers
of life, desperately pleading for gospels of growing up
upon its shores. she meant, growing up was often deeply scary.
that sometimes, it doesn't involve god.
so she taught this