Images of my sister recur, recur. The knife:
small paring knife in my kitchen with blade
the reverse of what one expects: its straight
side is cutting edge, not the curved. It’s very
sharp, easy to cut yourself with. When I warn
my sister, yes, she says, it’s counter-intuitive.

Within a few weeks of each other, my sister
spots a blackhead and a whitehead on my ten-
year old face. When I protest at her squeezing
the blackhead, she says “you squeeze blackheads,
just not whiteheads.” When I protest at her
squeezing the whitehead, she tells me, “It’s okay
to squeeze whiteheads, just not blackheads.”

The day she’s supposed to meet me – I’m
eleven or twelve – after my ballet lesson,
on a subway station platform in midtown
Manhattan. She’s not there, I wait and wait,
two hours later she walks down the steps,
says she got busy with something at home.

Years later, my son in college, I’m telling
my sister about his girlfriend, showing her
a photograph. My sister asks if she’s petite,
slim, I say yes, tiny, exquisite. “Don’t you
hate her?” she asks. Sometimes, many times,
when I look into the mirror, I see my sister.
I’ve always hated looking like her. I still do.