restricted access Envy
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51 Envy Today, Mother, you stretched a telephone wire tighter than my childhood muscles to tell me about your sons, my teenage brothers, their dreadful colds, the wheezing coughs in the night. How you leave your door blocked open to hear their rasping breath as it creeps in the hall, how in dreams you chase the grating sound from their bodies with the threat of a blunt-nosed knife. I imagine you in flannel shirt, unwashed hair, creeping in the hall. In my own young nights, I wrapped sheets around each leg, pretended a nurse in hospital heels and a crisp linen hat wrapped the fire in my calves with a compress, a bandage more potent than the early dawn that meant I could abandon my unslept bed. In those nights, you couldn’t hear the grate of blood as it scratched in my limbs. You didn’t hunt that seeping dark as I, eyes open, dreamed I was sliced across the shins with a blade. ...


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