Labelled: Mute, Multi-Personality, Queer, Suicidal, and None of the Above
My sister’s first personality didn’t speak,
Lips that fear stitched together by the hand of her mother’s and sister’s anxiety
The volume turned all the way down
While still playing the music
So we missed all the songs
Without even realizing it.
My sister’s second personality wouldn’t stop laughing in the car,
hysterical woman, is that her fortune to be sitting in the back her whole life
Why did the chicken cross the road, is it because the doctor lived on the other side?
And no one else could understand the joke and my mother didn’t tell us the testing and the autism or the asperger’s or the attention deficit
And the hysteria was just a joke, just sleep-deprived children stuffed into a mini-van as a roller-coaster flew down the highway.
My sister’s third personality rode in police cars and held knives
to the throats and stomachs to the wrists and I wondered the whole time if she got it from me.
As thirteen year old’s toast to the short-lived angst and dream of cherry stained champagne pouring from their bodies as a celebration, but the chemistry in our brains told us it could be a celebration and we believed the possibility that someone would celebrate us.
My sister thought her next personality kissed the glitter-glossed lips of girls with long hair and chipped nail polish. And I tried to tell her that love doesn’t need to be put into a label, taped onto our backs to say that we belong in aisle 7 with the rest of the white girls from suburbia that soccer moms will criticize with a wine-stained thermos in hand.
Ashley Farley is a senior in The College at Brockport pursuing her B.S. in English Literature. Ashley has been passionate about writing for most of her life, her first published piece of writing being from when she was 11 years old. She has had work published in Poppy Road Review and forthcoming in Calamus Journal, Leaves of Ink, and Amaryllis Poetry. She plans to continue her passion in all things English, and hopes to one day live on the beach and write children’s books.