My sister’s name is Complicity

My sister has a magic stick

When I’m by her side, I slip back into my 7-year old me

Like dirty laundry, I shed off the skin of this 54-year-old woman I am

And by her own power, she too becomes a child

Staring at our images in the mirror of this fancy spa

A friend signed us in, “Go for a swim, take a break from your mother’s deathbed.”

Born from the same mother on the same day, two exact years apart

Laura the elder, the clever, the mischievous, the imaginative child

I, the follower

We steal high heels from customers and run around the dressing room in our matching bathing suits, children mimicking femmes fatales

Except we are not children

“Comportaos, hijas!” behave, mother would have said

But she can no longer speak, nor walk, nor use the toilet on her own

And then I realize what this game is about

Laura is dusting off layer after layer of our grief

My sister has always shielded me

From mother’s depression, from loss, from fear, from injustice

As we come to the lobby, a note awaits us, “Call home urgently.”

The spell is broken.

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