it is the sun streaming through my
bay-sized sliding door windows
and the white capped mountains
framed within them
that I will miss most
in winter.
but there is more to voids
than photographic memory and
today I have
a piece of paper and
a dozen dead things wilted
in their vase
to remind me.

there is a touch of red
sprinkled around the glass
that browns and sets as dry
on the sill in
my small uncurtained bedroom that
I pace
when I have too much on my
mind and today they
remind me
life is a patient rot
to tomb, a gauntlet and
fluid so I  better keep
moving.

life is a patient
gut to get to
wound     it was April
on Earth Day when I wrote
My Brother Is Dead
in the back of a notebook I would never
look at again.
it would be the thing thrown away
to make room as I packed the car
two years later in the most frigid
December, my partner,
the weather, the frost of us and
I was in my big brown jacket
that absorbed me in
synthetic down and
I’m twirling the stem of a
decaying feather
of a real dead sparrow in my pocket,
the lyrids
are crowning across Colorado as
I am responding to
a nod, someone asking
was he your only brother?

I repeat the question in my head.

yes, he was my only brother.
it is much easier to disappear
but the house moved with
me;  from freeze to open
like an unattended mortuary
moved to resurrect itself
after years of
neglect and
did you know,
the bones given a soft lick
will sparkle white
 like fresh-caught ivory
and once it feels the brush of
mouth
will file any joint to tip
with tooth
and gore the things that touches
it, that holds it
near to chest or
safely in its palm?

as it shreds the flesh from
crown to feet,
someone says to me,
with sincerest sympathy
and I fall into a fog.
I repeat it in my head:

was he your only brother?

as I make room in my bag
for lipstick.

“the card”

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