My sister, calico, mewling, with pointed chin and white spot beside her nose, eyes bright promise.
I've been reading the novel Beloved, by Toni Morrison; the book breathes to life my ghost-sister, half-remembered, maybe-only-dreampt sister.
Imagine sinkfuls. Their cat-weight heavying me. Whiskers prickling my face.
A whirling, somersaulting all-of-us, many-limbed crouching, jumping, sleeping, rocking against each other, our hearts pitched to wild music; blood rising, humming us frenzied the joy, oh the joy, of us many loved.
I read it that way. Sethe's catharsis (Sethe is the mother) is so much more powerful, I think, with the reality of the supernatural. And why not? Why hand wring and look for holes in the ghost, holes in the story?
Why doubt my memory of her, litter-mate, and of how she was taken, human hand reaching for us, scooping her up, away, and traitor-sister not knowing, maybe, what she did, purring, purring into that hand. Adjusting her kitten's body to be close, closer to that-which-she-did-not-understand.
Loss of health (this abominable t-shirt won't allow me to forget my trespasses, septic wound, that too-quick raccoon/possum/feral cat/sharp branch that cut that stung that caught that turned that hurt me), self, loss of hope, of ambition, of of of of.
And so turning to dreamsofher. I know I dream colors; I see her calico, her pointed chin, white spot by her nose, the orange of her belly matching mine exactly. Sister-salve that burns ever more bitter for its ambiguity. No mother here to ask. No records to look up, hospital to call; me, feline, eight of years and growing older each slow taste of water, tongue like to be lolling, eyes sinister or full of sleep or devoid of both; me dreaming sister dreaming me dreaming family - sardines salted and frying on the stove, the hissing of oil as it heats.
down to the bone flesh sliced smell of that-which-I-can't-name the horror of the sound of that purring the horror of the sound of that purring maybe it was me who lept from sleep who lept
into stranger's human hands to be pulled and pulled from bodies nestled purring who lept m e who snuggled kitten-innocent into alien
unfamiliar and who lept and if I have no sister andifihavenosister and if i no sister ever had
maybe it was me