Letter to My Sister
Jeanette Le Quick
There are many things I never told you. One, I used to watch
you sleep and wonder what your brain was cooking. Sometimes
I tickled your nose, your ears, because I wanted to change your
dream's direction. It bothered me that I'd never know whether
I made an impact; later I learned this would be true of all of you,
that I'd never know what parts of you were mixed up with parts
of me, whether you'd still laugh at people with funny names,
make puns out of household cleaners, wake up restless, sweaty.
Two, you haven't seen me for a long time. Our words at holidays
double back on themselves, layering past grievances into sugared
cakes that we chew on between television shows. Through you
I learned that two people can have good intentions and that it
doesn't really matter; anticipated combustion self-fulfills, repeat,
I don't think you've ever known who I really am. I am certain--
You would say the same thing to me.
Three, I have a feeling that no one can ever love you enough, not
even your husband. Inside you is a well of loneliness that seeps
deep into your organs, sits cross-legged on your lungs. Sometimes
I doubt whether you are able to breathe at all, whether your chest
can withstand the pressure, your sadness bigger than your skinny
shoulders. I love you, I say, but your ears are plugged again, and--
Say it, this time just say it --
I get lonely, too.
Jeanette Le Quick lives in San Francisco, where she ponders microclimates while working on her first poetry collection. Her work has been published in Metatron, Ursus Americanus Press, Ghost City Review, Rat's Ass Review, The Bright Line, Penumbra, and District Lines, among others. She has earned residencies from OBRAS Portugal, Elsewhere Studios, Art Farm, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Ms. Quick holds a Jurisdoctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from University of California, Berkeley.