little sister,
i still see you
in that dandelion yellow sundress with the
white polka-dots,
standing as tall as my knees,
vanilla ice cream smeared
joyously
all
over
your beautiful little face.

how even then,
i wished for none of my struggles to touch you.

i do not wish that now.
i wish
for you to hear
that being an artist
is the least and most restrictive living.
you exist artistically. so be. bear the weight of this
life. your genius. it is heavy, but unescapable.
splash your pain onto canvas,
block mountains from blue;
string together portraits with pointillism;
or find the outlines of your fear
in charcoal. smudge them.
let your strokes drip down
into mistakes. you are allowed this.
you are allowed
to wade out farther than you were told
and not succeed
at keeping your head above water.

i will be there,
ready to pull you onto a canvas
and show you
the masterpiece of your being.

because you are more than
toenails painted pink, more than
the friends you kept or threw away, more than
how you wield anger like a warrior, more than
your fear. you are a beating heart.
you are a question. so be a question.
be a beating heart.
we will take you like this,
and hang you up in galleries.

you are worth this.
you do not need to change.

Photo credit: TAM!k0 Art on Flickr

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