My younger sister (How these things go)

She is the size of my palm the day I first see her

writhing in white slime, hair slicked back      

like wet maize tassels on her head.

for a few weeks her skin sheds,

and we joke about how much the chunks of dead skin

on the soft spot of her head, weigh

when she clocks 18 she is a Cap D

her waist is 32 inches – her hips 46

and the men are starting to say, hey

when she is 20 and in a strange city

a man will creep into her bed,

because that bed is in his house,

he will try to slip his hand up her thigh

and he will not hear her when she cries, No.

when the sun is up,

there will be no shame on his face,

as he calls her a cab.

He will phone her once,

to ask if she has arrived home safe

then he will text one word, Shh!

Link to the Italian translation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *