Draft Message to My Sibling After Top Surgery
I watched the video you sent of a roommate’s cat stealing
chicken nuggets, cracked up as paws swiped at the tray.
I know that all is well with you. It took so long
to realize we never learned to speak of joy, instead send
clips to make each other smile. All day I’ve thought about
care packages to send but nothing seems to fit. Nothing
I would send fits in a box, would last the thousand miles
to where I left you. It took so long to realize we both hoped
to escape from home and gender. Yesterday, I saw red admirals
flutter on a spicebush and tried filming them—because you
too float in graceful flight. Amid bruised ribs and drain tubes
you shimmer, iridescent. You’ve taught me how to dapple,
to be larger than our family’s worry. Let me gift to you a grove
of saplings, their young trunks primed for future. Watch them
rise and take in sun, leaves dancing in the breeze. From here
we’ll run off to the beach—the same one where as kids
you’d bury me in chest-high sand then tease of leaving.
This time, we’ll keep running past the waves—over them,
in spite of them—we’ll stay running at each others’ sides.