You might know how it is, things
you don’t want to remember –
razor strap marks on virgin child-skin
a stranger’s touch in a shadowed room –
My little brother and I never spoke
of those painful ancient moments
Then one glorious June afternoon
I got the phone call no one wants.
My brother had laid his body down
on a hard bed of bare gravel
perhaps to stare up one last time
at a hot blue Vegas sky
I drove my car white-knuckled on
the blistered desert dry highway
scarcely noticed the blood red sunset
fading into a blackness carved only
by my headlights, while within me.
sat the wild animal Grief…waiting.
As the midnight of my life arrived
I entered my ruined brother’s house
That groaning creature in my chest
was set free screaming ranting moaning
I crushed his shirt smell to my wet face
scoured his rooms for answers ’til dawn.
My big strong brother is gone. Nothing…
no one can bring him back.
My sensitive loving brother, the only one
in the world who shared the dirtiest
darkest of days and nights when
we had only each other to cling to
Guilt and grief will ever whisper,
“You really should have known”
Even so – I hope you understand why
I could not venture into that barren yard
to see blood spilled where my brother
pulled the trigger shattering his glasses.