For My Brother

February 10, 2011
Nintendo 64, twin nautical quilts,
Relics of our childhood.
The slanted ceiling with the skylights
Open slightly to the summer rain directly above our sleepless frames.
Lying on my back it was as if silver pins were descending from heaven.
We’d whisper our thanks to God each night,
To preserve the fragility of darkness,
To respect the tyranny of the shadows,
With childlike simplemindedness.
Now we do the same in the quiet of separate rooms
But only after you’ve sat on my bed,
Home just before curfew,
To tell me of the night’s mischief.
I smile to fight the bitter evanescence,
Because you’ll be gone to the mountains soon,
To ski although we forswore it,
To feel the coldness of a Vermont winter,
To do everything you’ve wanted to.
And your goodness will follow you,
Its vestige in me will perpetuate like summer
And every day that you’re gone will be the longest,
Like a recurring solstice.
But I will be asleep by dark,
Bereft of reason to stay awake at night.

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