brother and sister climbing dead oak

by Divya Mehrish

pretend you’re kicking the heart of the tree. you’re crushing me. you need to swing over that branch. i know how your legs work. we have the same body, remember? i’ve lived in our chest two years longer than you. are you gonna keep your maiden name when you get married? it’s also your maiden name, you idiot. i’m not a maiden. oh, but i am? i can’t fit here. make yourself fit. i’m gonna slip if you don’t shut up. well i’m not planning on catching you. i hope you fall on your head. you know your head was so fat when you were born you would’ve come out feet first? mom had to get sawed open so you wouldn’t choke to death. i’d never have done that for you. i know you better than anyone else. remember the taste of rain at sunset? it’s called petrichor. i want home caught between my teeth. i miss baby you. i used to suck on clay and stuff it into your ears so you wouldn’t hear me cursing at you. you were so stupid. still are. maybe, but i’m way stronger than you. hah. you can’t even take out the trash without dropping it. that’s not true. i’m a twelve-year-old man. wow i really miss baby you. i’m never letting you get married. what, you’ll crash my wedding or something? no, i’ll just beat your boyfriend up when you’re asleep. wait what if this trunk collapses? anyone who knows how you peel your pickles and eat raw cookie dough out of the bowl would never swear to love you for the rest of your days. i wanna be a white chicken in the alps when i grow up. is salmonella just in salmon? don’t you love me? yeah, as hard as i worship god. aren’t you atheist? exactly. i hate you so much. same here. what did mom’s uterus smell like? dunno. maybe cherry cola? move on up dude, you’re taking forever. dad said we shouldn’t be annoying mom so much, she’s almost in menopause. know what that is? yeah and you don’t need to know. the view’s better down here. no it’s not. wait i wanna know though. do you know what a period is? what kinda question is that? it’s just grammar, can you stop changing the subject? so then you really don’t need to know. you’re the worst. yep. can you make me mac n’ cheese later? thought i was the worst? make it yourself. stop hugging the tree. but i like the way you melt the cheddar. it’s called sixteen seconds in the microwave. pretty please? you’re ugly. i think i’m allergic to the seeds in bananas. you can’t be. we have the same genes. for god’s sake, will you stop ripping the twigs off? i’m not doing anything for god. i’m gonna miss you when you die. gosh fine, for my sake, then. why don’t we sit in this dent? i wish it was monday this weekend. the sun’s getting strong. what’s it like to fall in love? what happens when you don’t? don’t worry, no one will ever want to be with you. i hurt my knee. are you gonna have kids? put some ice on it when we go back inside. are you? i’m not gonna let you be their uncle. you’ll appreciate me more once i’m gone. you sound like dad. we’re too heavy for that branch. maybe i am your dad. ew that’s incest. red berries are always poisonous, dummy. it’s not incest unless we’re making babies. i love the me that’s left in you. i almost lost your voice in the wind. i think we’re as high up as we can go. the leaves up here don’t have any color. we should’ve brought the camera. just take a picture in your head. i’m gonna save you forever. the green of the grass looks raw from here. don’t eat it then. your advice is crappy. just tryna keep you alive. you don’t need to. i dunno what’s left of me if you’re gone. i wish we were the same person. we are. then you’d always be talking to yourself. not necessarily a bad thing. i’ll remember you until you die. that’s it? well yeah. i need you so badly it makes me sick. Is your favorite color still brown? no, it’s the silver in your eyelashes when you cry. eyelashes are for girls. eyelashes are for eyes. i think mom loves me more than you. well i love you more than mom. oh. i smell a storm. we better get off and go home. what if i fall? just breathe deeply and imagine yourself on the ground and you’ll be fine. promise? no, but it’s the best i can do. just pretend you can love me with your eyes closed. that’s enough.