to my sister (summer 1993)


i am thirteen    &             small for my age, the sun is yawning             it’s a lazy summer           the air
is close              our fingers sticky with ice cream &              you touch a dead bee’s stinger to
see how it feels
             we go to church once             & you don’t know what it means are you supposed to
feel                          something?              you cry on the way     home & the next day              you meet a
boy soft like                       a melon              & it is too hot to not indulge
sunscreen          grass    a fake lemon tree          & you leave to hang out with the boy whose name
is             so familiar                         to me, his hair light like the way he brushes his finger through
yours                                                                               you wear your shiny brown trees &        when you
get home they are          dirty
             i lose all my baby teeth             &             learn what a sanitary napkin is for         (at first i think
i’ve finally murdered you but that’s not important)                    meanwhile the boy plants flowers
in the curve of              your spine             they grow so tall            & pretty              you don’t walk
straight anymore
when you’re gone i try to ask the moon where you are            she tells me to stop            caring so
much    & i swallowed a peach pit      only to find the pit of the earth            in my stomach
i am        atlas inverted                                    i meet a boy who smiles            like the world is splitting
open        he is        all red   which is fine                 because i only ever wore white.
now         i have holes in the palm of my hand     &            you come back from college


KELLY HUI is a sophomore at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA, where she is on the slam poetry team. She has won one Gold Key, two Silver Keys, and two Honorable Mentions in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and recently received the Silver Award in Poetry for the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest as well as a scholarship of $1000. Her favorite poets are Safia Elhillo, Sylvia Plath, and Richard Siken.