Telling Maybelline Jones

by Cami Park

Maybelline Jones is my sister, my friend, and I try to tell her the right way to be. “Look how other people do things,” I say, as she handstands across the grassy verge to get the mail, returning with it in her teeth. “Remember what happened to mother,” I warn, as I comb grass and scurf from her hair. But Maybelline Jones doesn't listen; she tends to the world with the salt from her eyes, and speaks to me with the blue of her skin.

One day enough is enough and, eye level with scraped knees, I tell her, “Look,” I say, “You are mismatched, awry, an odd genus. Breathless, like our mother, heedlessly joyful, like our father; drastically askew and out of place.”

But it is too late. She is out the door and down the street, somersaulting away from me.