Brother

We’ve got cold in our knees Brother
What are you doing up so late
What’s the difference between deer hide and the back of your neck
I was born fifty years too late
To hold your hand
Brother and now I sit
Watching new gulls
Migratory paths
As complex
As the lines in your hands
The lines on your face
The lines etched into your back.
 
Brother I’m worried about your eyes
The scabs that form around them
Why don’t you ever do anything
I like to blame the victim
Before anyone else can
I claim all the shame for myself
Like a fat cat
Lapping up another fat cat’s blood.
There will be time enough
To find fault, but until then
I’ll pile it high like a high pile of bones
A high pile of bones that melt into the sky
Then I will be able to see
Through your wolf eyes
Your jackal slits
You would slit your own mother
Stem to stern
With those sharp eyes
 
I feel like I’m doing a dirty thing writing this down
But Brother if one of us dies
Then only one of us will be left
With the truth
And you haven’t looked well
For centuries
 
I’ll wrap you in a blanket
Or will I smother you
I’ve forgotten,
It’s been so long since I have held anyone
 
And just like red dye,
You’re all over my arms
And I’m so desperately trying to hide
That I want to be you, Brother,
I know hard times is just another word
For memories
And watching it all go to shit
Is what you’re used to
You’re skinny all over,
But big, like a raven
If anyone can survive this
Its you Brother.
Cold knees come from praying.

Darian Rose Selander is a poet who is finishing her final year in a degree in English at the University of Victoria. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of a campus magazine called The Warren.

Tags:   writing contest writing in the margins

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