We Are Made of Sisters


My sisters and I end up at the river. This is the river of blood-water. We swim until there is no more water we have not touched. We are not thirsty. Thirst is not why we dive to the bottom. The bottom is too far down for my sisters and I to touch with our feet. When we place feet in water and melt bodies to water, we are made of blood–my sisters are made of nails that I have lost. I lose my sisters on a day when rain hits the river and we are swimming, too much drinking of blood, too much splashing the weather to shift, rain stones, logs, timber, thunder. I come to the river, my sisters and I, to taste how our parents feel when on nights like this, they wait on the porch for us to crawl like bugs on the lawn and, on hands and knees, beg to be let back in so we can sleep in our beds, rest in our beds until the next day comes. The next day, we swim. It is not normal for rivers to flow blood-water, but this river is not a normal river, it is a mouth and we are the tongue that makes the water speak in ways that the blood does: red, river, red. Sometimes boys come to the river to watch us swim–they say, “blood-girls, we’ll watch,” and those boys don’t get to go home if those boys watch us swim in the river, no, it’s not the way of our mouths keeping. Tongues lipping like oracles lure the boys into the caverns of our mouths. Yes, our mouths are rivers of boys screaming. I feel their nails claw my belly when I swim in the river, my sisters and I, but their nails are like logs and stones made of rain–little, too little. I like the sound. Our parents are gone now. The boys won’t come back and as I raise my head from the blood-water I call to my sisters, I say, “sisters, sisters let’s go home,” but they are floating away, too far away, in a place where the blood-water is no longer what I think it is–it is the inside of my body.