Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bravery

I am from four hands
of four arms of two
bodies
that haven't broken:
            a young woman with one swollen eye,
            a man who kisses her
            on New Year's Eve
            at midnight.

I am from the hazy peace-
half asleep, or at least
pretending, so that
Dad would carry me inside.

I am from the bathtub
and twin night gowns, tiny
twin feet smacking the floor,
and twin nightmares-
because we always shared a room:
            some summer nights,
            we'd stay up talking
            forever when it was too hot to keep our eyes open.

i miss you
i am missing so much

i am from there, too.

i am from the almighty edge of
all of it, the metal strip
where the carpet meets the kitchen
            where my knee met a nail
            when I fell
            chasing Jenny.

i swear to god i love them
and i've got the scars to prove it.

            some come from the backwards little lie, the
                   love unfelt
                   until you lose it.

I am from homemade Christmas
ornaments and hospital visits and
the smell of cigarette smoke
at the beach,

the boardwalks, bicycles, and
m y  b r o t h e r ' s  t e e t h
littering our street like little
crumbs, glittering
like the blood, red,
like the sun
shining through his broken jaw,
obliterating the still-spinning spokes
of his big boy bike, tangled in
a pile on the pavement.

He flew, in the truest (my
father's arms and legs
stretching to catch him,
impossible) sense of the word.

He couldn't eat for a week,
but stil found a way to push his
jokes out through his mangled mouth, and
hum.

This is the kind of bravery and love
that we are from,

the tears when they told her
that Santa wasn't real,
the birthday candles left
unlit, you know, to grow on.
            (those are where you're from,
             and where you go.)

I know the truth,
I have to go. I'm sorry,
I am, but I am ready,   I am strong,
I am falling and will be sung
to sleep with the light on.

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