Illustration by Anya Baker.

Illustration by Anya Baker.

kid sister

my sister sleepwalks—
sometimes she is half-awake
on a lazy weekend morning
and makes her way to my room.
in a daze she smiles,
climbs into bed next to me as I read,
eyes of hazel green stars
and a scar – below her right eyebrow
(that was my fault, an accident; she was three and I was angry).
she quickly curls back to sleep
and I too grow tired,
inspired by the quiet dream storms she
breathes out with every sigh.
she’s always been the pretty one
with eyelashes bent toward heaven
and black as the mascara I buy
for $7.95 at the grocery store.
she’s begun to mirror the moon
with adolescent skin like craters and black holes
and a sleep smile that makes a waning curve,
but fights against the new moon night
of an empty age – one year older.
and if you told her
she laughed rainbows in her sleep she would
only wish for more sabaismic dreaming.
her warmth radiates like the summer of elementary school playgrounds
and her hand absent of consciousness twitches against my pillow.
and she opens her eyes to yawn a question
wanting to know if she can play with my makeup.

—By M’Kenzy Cannon