This close, I for the fourth decade notice how
beautiful I find the stark black lashes of his eyes.
It’s autumn—after autumn, actually—everything
awash in the given plenty of spent leaves. Ice
in the air despite the sun. A few bars of something
bracing I can’t quite place grace the whole of the cradle
that we’ve made. I slow as if to ask what song is that?
I can’t stop noticing, which is already a kind of asking.
Which is one way to have a story go on without end.
Another way to keep a story from ending
is never to start telling it. My brother’s silent,
split, spilt, bruised, half-buried in his milk, gone
red at the tongue, orange at the eye. So entwined
and still I don’t once stagger in the dirt.
I still have my brother. My hands know this
by the weight. As if the worth of life were knowing.
I never knew I could carry him. Now it’s another story.
Once I caught his front teeth with a bat.
Once I saw a dog chasing a child and I tackled it.
I didn’t think of fear until its body was here,
livid in my arms. By then there was no time. Now,
out of my hands, my hands grate air like they are the place
in the earth where roots continue to turn dirt into themselves
while above a blade has clipped the bloom completely.
Copyright © 2020 Charlie Clark
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.