on this night we are on the bridge with woof woof les chiens with their owners. paws are loud in the darkness. and we look up into the sky and it makes me dizzy i’m petite and Maman points and Tristan nods and i feel far away kind of like les etoiles. there are never shooting stars but Apo hopes. peut-etre, “maybe we’ll go see them in august,” Maman says as if i know what that means. i glance at Apo and le coté du bridge entre the cold bars that look sharp with red dust that Tristan says is danger and i know we’ll be here a while. ow mon coup hurts with the curve of it as i look up at the constellation i should find – it is my name after all.
Papa sees me after work as he puts away his velo and i’m in the yard with Apo, my twin always together never apart even in the night. our room is high up. one bed in a little chambre avec des jouets and books i don’t like but Tristan does. our yard is full of framboise that have péppins and hurt with needles that aren’t visible so i step cautiously around them and avoid les guêpes qui piquent Tristan. and later pendant the summer Maman will turn the framboises into jam that we will eat on petit pain for breakfast with Maman because she doesn’t work like Papa does. but sometimes she comes to school and les élèves call her Madame and i help with the kids de la maternelle because i’m 6 so it’s okay. Madame Bernadette gets it.
on our birthday on fête la fête with Nonna and everyone else and we have 2 cakes. une pour vous and one for Nonna whose birthday is actually next week. i want my own cake because we aren’t one but toujours ensembles vous vous avez les filles, Maman always reminds me i nod. Apo says nothing too. i think that means we did right because la fête continues. we pick gifts from the one bag given to us, and when Apo sees mine she says c’est le mien i keep it. non c’est a moi.
on the beach it is summer and we are here after driving and je pense i did sleep. well Apo did. “on mange des crepes demain,” tomorrow’s breakfast will be sweet and i can roll them on my own now. Maman still thinks les couteaux are dangerous. but Philip and Dacia use them. they also put nutella and that’s degeu and sucré. yes, more than sucre brun. Tristan likes them with limon et sucre, because il manage bien Maman says.
on the way to the hospital Papa says “you can sit in front” and i look back at my seat… if he says it’s okay i’ll be okay i guess. Papa leads me everywhere because you can’t know these things, places and names and things you can’t see or read. like common names. but the signs on the long road where Papa drives quickly and there are other cars and i can’t even hear the music. i wonder if it’s coldplay. the signs repeat their words Rue Allen Road. pourquoi. i didn’t need to be told twice it was pavement that cars zoom and bikes pedal and people walk with their chiens.
on some nuit when it’s late and we’re supposed to be au lit, Tristan and Apo are up parce que Papa cris. i can’t hear very much until they get to les escaliers and i hear banging and le plancher creaks crack crack crack bang like a heartbeat or mine as it goes boom boom boom booom loudly in my ears. Papa often talks about money, and he yells at Maman and tries not to show it, mais tu es jeune. when you’re older you’ll know Maman has spending problems and Tristan will defend her and you will be just as afraid with the same image of someone qui monte les escaliers and – no stop it there is no heartbeat you’re okay. it’s okay. calm down. because at the end of the night when you’re in bed with Apo always and forever you’ll be told bonne nuit by one or both and Maman will say “je t’aime a la folie” and Papa will say “i love you” and you will not know how to answer but to parrot back, sometimes.
and in bed always and forever at night in the same room as Apo and sometimes Tristan sometimes you are one and you hold hands but sometimes it’s warm. tu veux être seule all alone but i can’t because Tristan sleeps above with stars, i sleep under in the darkness beside her. so on se chicane and one of us bleeds because of our nails sometimes by accident. oh. je m’excuse, je t’aime. ca va? or va t’en, tu m’enerve. il fait chaud et tu ronfle! zzz zzz zzz groggy and loud beside me. STOP IT.