Brother, I Miss You

Am I my brother’s keeper?
Yes. Yes I am.
Am I my brother’s keeper?
No. No I am not.
Am I my brother’s friend?
Yes. Sometimes. No. Shit. Damn. Fuck. Hell
if I know. Am I my brother’s keeper? No. I am
my brother’s used to be sister. My memory
is longer than his. We remember different things.
Mom and Dad never believed in me
They knew you could do it. You could do anything.
I wanted to be like you. Me they had to help. They didn’t think
much of me. They didn’t believe
I could do anything.

Mom always said, you are smart but
your brother has a good heart.
With my own eyes I saw his heart retreat and turn
against itself. I got scared. Real scared. Real scared
and felt lost. Loss. I lost him then.
We stared each other down. Neither one would back down. Trembling
him: grieving fearing righteous disbelief
me: grieving fearing righteous disbelief
What happened to my brother?
He probably wondered what happened to me.
What had happened was
my brother became a father like my mother. No wonder I was scared.
We stared each other down. Two Bulls
who could kill
each other but won’t because our mama
took my father’s life, on accident but..
she threatened us so often, sometimes
I wasn’t sure.
He relents, immediately I do too but..my heart
is thumping wild. I am losing you. I am losing you.
He says when I have kids of my own. My mother says this too.
He says when I have kids of my own..until then.
Until then..then what? What?
His son. His son. His.
But I know his son is himself and I love his mama.
She is my friend and sister now and I love The Boy
who at two says “I’m a man.” even when he poops his pants.
I envy him a little. That he knows and is so sure of his manhood, at two.
I love The Boy. His mama and my brother mixed. His own.
I can’t separate my whole love for you brother.
I can’t love the way you want me to. The way you do.
I can’t love people in pieces anymore. It isn’t me. It isn’t true.
It’s isn’t you my brother. I am whole
hearted. I love whole heartedly
and show it when I can. I won’t deny my love for you.
We have lost something.
You are fighting
a whole heart and you cannot win. This time.
Sorry bro
we have lost
something.
Am I my brother’s keeper?
No. No I am not.
My brother lost his sister who he loved and looked up to.
We both have shared this thought: I want to be just like you.
My brother lost his sister who he loved and looked up to.
I don’t know what that is like.
Maybe one day we’ll be friends again.
Maybe one day we’ll be brothers and my brother will let me know
Let me show
some love.

audio version

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