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Sorry for the World.

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My lIttle brother is ten years old. He doesn’t wash his hair enough, and it’s always drooping into his vision, getting tangled in his lines of sight. The greased strands winding disruptive coils around middle school future and tonight’s long division. He always has his smartypants on, and he won’t tell what he’s afraid of. Nothing, maybe, and his hair flips all at once, glued together with dirt. But our midnights are stained with tears and terrors, unintelligible cries subdued to a tenuous muttering of imsorryimsorryimsorry.

What have you done?

My best friend is seventeen. Iridescent irises give way to a limpid grin, and I want to grab the transcendent emission of light from behind his tiny, rounded pupils. Clinging to the phosphorescence that I’ve unearthed, I call it charisma and pledge to have a best man instead of bridesmaids. Then I imprison the I love you’s because I’m terrified of overuse and dreading him forgetting. You’re unbreakable at seventeen, the cancer chained elderly promise us. The edge of the bridge looks farther away through the creased eyes of nostalgia, and I clutch the back of his thin shirt. We all need an excuse to die. But I know he’s not scared of dying, because his eyes close for too long at the wheel and I don’t want to know what I don’t see.

My art teacher is sixty-two. Thick rimmed glasses and a scarf I made him, he tells me secrets about myself. “I will know your children better than they know themselves.” My quintessence is still wet on the canvas. Childhood expectations of going out in a blaze of glory by thirty - the-almost-real-wars adulterated the fabricated grand exit with radiation and splitting atoms. Aren’t they small enough already? Now the days are shorter and he’s suddenly discovered unprecedented acrophobia. Old nightmares discarded, the mind manufactures fresh fears. But there’s still time to go out with a blaze of glory, and he’ll devise a turpentine and pastel penetrated way to find his way up.

The edge of the bridge is one step closer than we have measured out, nineteen paces instead of twenty, one instead of two. We all need an excuse to die.

I’m sorry for being afraid.



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