my mother bats at the hand toying with my lip
   cherry candies
       black dominoes
my dress is too loose around the bust
the sound of my voice is usually this strange

I had to stab a gold earring through my double an hour ago
it’s still throbbing

my brother draws caricatures on a notepad I give him
to stop him from whispering
     I take the pen and write

‘qu-est ce que c’est?’
he doesn’t know French
I’m just being a sister

the old lady signs to our chanted prayer
one collective concealed grimace as she exclaims
I explain the importance of some words to her
     when my mother starts to get impatient

my legs are crossed, probably
      rhubarb pie
           sparkling water
face constructed of a hundred small, crinkled notes
I am always like this, for reasons desolate and divine