j. a. tyler

The Other, a Sister

He had a sister, him, this man in a bed watching the shadows blacken like catfish in jamaican sun.

And in eyesight mostly going blind, his chest unbreathing in unbreath, he watched that sister fall and trip up his stairs, stumbling in vacant unease. But here she was, the only one left, so that he felt dizzy and harsh. Her, his sister, trampling trudging through the gray outside and the wind or the lack of wind, either way in the sunset, sitting in a chair next to this Other, closer to the dusk.

This until the double of his vision was a sister covered in butterflies and an Other shaded in darkness and multitudes. Monarch skin and she sat watching him, her hands palms to knees, her mouth a thin stretch of unmoving. Unweeping. The butterfly wings flickering and stained, light wavering. And when they calmed and rested they were hands held in prayer, a vigil or a destination, for him and his unbreathing chest, a dying man and his sister’s whispery wings.

And underneath it the noise of the Other, streaming through. The quiet humming silence that the Other projected, protects, filtering it through him and his sister. Sitting near her, leaning into her, inhaling the scent of still living. This Other, wanting something else. This Other, waiting on his sister. This man in the dying bed, this man crying without tears, holding onto the disconnect, fingers on a bloodline string.

Her, his sister, moving away and back down the stairs, like a fish straightening down the river.

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