DEAD BROTHER:I want to carve out my body as a skin for you to wear. Dead Sister I don’t want my body anymore you can live in it for awhile and I’ll just be a plain Dead Brother in no skinsuit.You can drift along wearing your me-skinsuit. You can make me a fish. You can cut gills in my Dead Brother neck. You can tie me with fishing line to the side of the boat and I’ll be dragged openmouthed down the river. Or I can swing from the trees. I can balance on the side of the boat. I’ll hover over the water and when I point my finger you’ll understand.
Dead Brother eyes small as pinpricks. Dead Brother eyes hung in the night sky. Dead Brother covered with strawberry bruises. Leaking jam. Swoled up and poked with a stick until a bug crawls out of Dead Brother’s mouth or until his body bursts. Scatters a blood drip. Oil trail in the water.
:DEAD BROTHER:DEAD SISTER:
the wind blows through one end of an organ pipe the sound leaks out the other I spit a good shine into your organ pipe face I see myself in the shine I hold you so my face and your face line up perfectly so we can’t tell us apart
Gravel in my back. Splinters in my back. Water seeping through the joints. River at my back. When I lie back I’m below the water line.
Jump up and down in the boat the river won’t eat it. The river will eat us and spit us out. The river swallowed in the belly of a great fish. The river leaking out of the fish eye. The fish leaking out of an eye. The fish leaking. Dead Sister leaking. My skinsuit leaking. Which means I also must be leaking. What is it like to leak. Being a broken thing. Pulled through a gash in the riverbed.
DEAD BROTHER. DEAD SISTER:
What if we reach. Reach the river inside the river.
There is no river inside the river. The river is inside something.
The river fills a deep ditch. Gash in the belly.
Dead Sister the river inside you. There is no river inside me.
The river wash under my skinsuit. My skin not touching other skin.
Dead Sister popped in a bubble. Inverted bubble: water layer, air layer, water.
I blew through a fish mouth and you. And I split the gills wider when I came through.
taught Dead Sister to shadowbox
to take a punch and spit a strawberry
to pedal her legs like an airbike
or instead she taught me
she knows bird words
and how to take apart a fish
she could drown a fish with her spit
or carve a fish into the face
of the river
Dead Sister slips her finger in
she does so much tracing
her finger is a lure for a fish
she can be a fish
so she knows how to make them
she lets them
eat her fingers off
Dead Sister you keep coming back forever and I don’t know who you are. Dead Sister you look like me. Dead Sister you look like millions of dead sisters inside of you. Dead Sister you look like. And you look like. And you laugh. And you play.
And you are born forever and you are dead forever. Dead Sister I don’t have a name for you and when I try to put a name on you it falls off. And it floats on the river and a fish eats it. Or it breaks on the floor of the boat. And you laugh again and skip away.
Dead Sister do I love your death. Do I love my own. Dead Sister did my soul choke yours out somehow.
Dead Sister will you ever not come around. Dead Sister is there something you want to tell. Tell me. Dead Sister my head feels light. Dead Sister my body feels light. Dead Sister my. Feels light. Light fills.
A.T. Grant lives in Minneapolis. He makes songs as New South Bear. You can hear songs here. His writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Radioactive Moat, Sixth Finch, Jellyfish, ILK, and La Petite Zine. Contact him at a.t.grant295[AT]gmail[DOT]com.