i'm sitting now across from my sister, she takes bites
of greasy chicken broth in between contractions:
her water's broken, but Isabella is a fighter.
my other sister is here, being monitored because her inutero son
(whom i call "Matthew" even though my sister swears his name is "Aiden")
won't settle down. i told her i hate the name Aiden because
my ex-girlfriend is pregnant with a boy whom she has named Aiden.
truth be told it reminds me of you—that name you picked way back when.
i thought of you unjustly waiting. i still do.
i can finally listen to those songs that remind me of you, but now
i can't while i see my sister. those songs that remind me of you,
that remind you of her and her of nothing. i'll stick with The Autumns for now.
i see you're awake, i see you're alive. i see my sister
writing in pain, imagining how i would take it if it were me—
truth be told i probably couldn't. her fist is clenched, her head
buried in her skinny arms. she tried to go to sleep but dammit
Isabella is a fighter. the nurse comes in, something for the pain.
i hate needles, of course you know this. everyone in my family
knows this. their eyes all turn to me as my sister is about to get poked.
the nurse makes a joke about Star Wars. i have no idea what she means.
my sister's legs squirm, the syringe is taken out and my mother cannot look:
whenever my sister cringes i look at my mother, knowing that she can't stand seeing
her children in pain: my mother had the drugs and encourages my sisters
to do the same. no one in my family has a good pain tolerance
which is why i was always surpassed when you refused aspirin. the nurse is blocking my view
of the needle. if i keep my mind in this "poem," i'll be fine.
the bed creaks. her baby's father sits outside, i have not said a word to him
since he left all those months ago. i am the closest thing to a father
this little girl will ever have. "Thieves." perfect. just as i was starting to let my mind drift
away from you, the one song that puts you and you alone in my head.
damn She & Him are so catchy. my sister continues to writhe,
nearly in tears. i am the same, only i don't show it like she does.
There's thieves among us. my sister and i both know this:
he stole her chance at normal: you stole me away
and left me with this shell of a former man-in-making.
you are not to blame. my sister is crying. That won't stop me crying