My sister and I sleep in the same queen-sized bed shoved into a shoebox room. Our mother says it’s time for bed, but we stay up and make shadow puppets with the missing flashlight on the wall. We sit in the closet, sharing secrets, allowing them to dangle in the air, clothes on a hanger: “Listen, I saw her kiss a boy.” And then we are sleeping, feet entangled, as if the space we shared somehow made us one. When our mother says it’s time for my own bed, I tell her I am excited, and I am. Choosing my own bedsheets makes my heart beat so fast that I think my little body will explode. My sister and I still share a room. Except now, we sleep on opposite sides. Sometimes at night I look to her side of the room and the space between us.
VIVIANA MENDOZA is a contributor to Sagebrush XVII.
Cover Art: Two Sisters, Felice Beato, circa 1866-1867, Hand-colored albumen silver print (via the Getty’s Open Image Project).