Emily Berry


Arlene and Esme

In our house we live with Arlene. My little sister has a plan.
She has what they call a beginner’ s mind. She sees everything
from an un-given-up perspective. I’ m frightened; I know
Arlene better than anyone; she knows me better. Esme says
if I’ m scared we can’ t win. But I am scared. Arlene drags me
over to the window where the black mould has made
a map of Australia. Australia gives me trouble breathing,
it’ s so far away. Arlene points it out and I get the feeling
in my chest, my whole life in there twisted up like a snake.