a sister

— Nardine Taleb

I couldn’t find myself in my aunties, so I opened
my body up, found palms of half-eaten candies, empty
wrappers, ragged questions.

A sister says: we must eliminate shame from our bodies. So I bury myself
under arms of snow. Here I am, a fragmented window
letting other fragmented things pass through me.

Another sister says: my grandmother hands
my mother my sister my daughters
a god concealed in a closed fist

I seek this god and find him
underneath my tongue. I give people ninety-nine ways
to say my name. I leave them split open.

A sister doesn’t know everything. A sister
only knows what is told to her. A sister
is given only quarter-truths, can’t even seek herself

in other sisters. When I finally know the questions,
the seeking stops. I skin myself and find,
once concealed, teeth. Like everything veiled,

I want to be known.

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