Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-seven
Spring 2015
pulp-beaten days
Kirby Knowlton

no guide to being sisters,
                              no artery map
to tell if our blood’s flowing right.

so we’re placed next to each other
               to speed up the ripening.
when our house
               still seemed a breathing body
                              to tend for and wear out,
my sister and i, our bedrooms
                              like chambers of a heart
where we took turns pressing ears
               against the walls, whispered
and listened in turn
                              to the beating.

pieces of the same fruit
               we still managed to bruise
the other.
               learned how the soft parts
are sweeter, quicker
                              to burst.

               confined to the house,
so we taught each other
               the parts of the world
                              that don’t need
               chasing up stairs
                  and crying in the bathtub.
               she gave me lessons
on scabbed knees,
               gnawed knuckles down
to the pit.
               i could only ever cut
with words,
told her that down the air vent
               was a path straight to hell.

ideas we couldn’t understand,
               tried to poison the other with.

for all our symmetry
    we forgot
               our purpose was to split
                              skin, watch
our sameness bleed out.

About Kirby Knowlton

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