My Sister's Shrines
Becky Robison

Jackie says we're gonna put a man on the moon, and I believe her because she's my big sister and also because at nighttime I can reach out and cover the moon with my thumb. She says there are seas on the moon but you can't go swimming in them because they don't have any water. She says the seas are just dark gray empties that go on forever. I believe her because she read it in a book.

Jackie keeps newspaper clippings under the floorboards in our bedroom. They have lots of words I can't read yet, but I know some like outer space and the Soviet Union. All I know about the Soviet Union is it's closer than the moon and that Daddy yells about it when he drinks beer.

She kept newspaper clippings before, only last time it wasn't about the moon, it was about fighting in Cuba. All I know about Cuba is it's closer than the Soviet Union. She used to paste the clippings up on the walls, but one day Daddy tore them down and said she was ruining the house. “You think Castro’s some kind of saint?” Daddy threw the clippings in the trash but that night I snuck into the kitchen and found them because I like when she tells me about faraway places. Jackie cried when I brought them back. I could see her face because the moon was shining so bright, but Jackie says the moon doesn't shine at all.

First published: November, 2013
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