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.
was he your only brother?

as I pass a trashcan,
I fumble a little,
  make room in my bag
for lipstick.

“the sympathy card”

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