Draft Message to My Sibling After Top Surgery

by CD Eskilson


I watched the video you sent of a roommate’s cat
     stealing chicken nuggets, cracked up as paws

swiped at the tray. I know all is well with you. It took
     so long to realize we never learned to speak of joy,
instead send clips to make us 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—since you too float in graceful
     light. Amid bruised ribs and drain tubes you shimmer,

iridescent. You’ve taught me how to dapple and 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 rays, leaves dancing in the breeze.
From here, we’ll run off to a beach—the same one where

     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—stay at each others’ sides.


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