We used to raid our mothers’ cupboards and
Steal all of their fancy clothes, play princess.
Sometimes I was a dragon, in a
Green dress and Green pumps that she
Loved. But her feet were much too small.
She was always much smaller than me.
Which made me think that maybe
She was a fairy.
In the church,
I couldn’t see what she was wearing, they’d
Nailed shut her cradle because there were too many
Bits of her to look human. So I just
Stared at her photo when they started to talk
And I watched her glimmering behind the glass
Until her face stopped looking like a face
And looked more like a blot.
Her brother wore jeans, and I, the Green pumps,
And Paisley Ellis wore a black tulle monstrosity
And said Are you Alright? And I said Yes. Which was a lie but
Everyone in the church knew that I was not Alright
At funerals, you’re meant to say that you’re Alright
Because you’re not the person who’s dead.
Even if you think otherwise.