Fourteen

December 7, 2010
He begs me to read him a story.
I tell him he is too old.
He pleads, beseeches me,
And finally I comply.

I clamber onto his bed,
Sitting erect, grazing the backboard.
I beckon for the book,
And snatch it into my hands.
Running my fingers along the sharp edge,
I choose a chapter.
The stiff spine crackles as I open the pages,

Pouring out its innards.

The window shade hangs
With only a slim opening at the bottom.
A shimmer of sunlight peaks from beneath,
Casting a light across the pages.

I stare down at the jumble of black marks before me,
Moving my mouth to conform with the letters.
I don’t stop.
When my voice becomes all scratchy,
I continue speaking,
Spewing words from my lips.
When my voice runs out,
I fold over the cover of the book,
And glance up into the face of my brother.





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