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Brother

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whenever we fought
Mom always scolded us
saying
“you two must take care of each other
because you are related by blood.”
yes, sometimes, I would like very much
to choke the blood out of you
when you eat all the cookies behind my back
when you “borrow” my things without asking
when Mom is so furious she’s ready to break a vase
and you find it a good time to correct her grammar

other times, I do not dislike you so much
other times, we share jokes that our parents do not understand
we laugh over millennial jokes and
discuss happenings in school
one of us is able to explain to our parents
what the other cannot find the words for
goodness knows then how glad I am to have a brother

brother, you
are like a hole in the hull of my ship set sail on a voyage
but you are also my first-mate
a good companion to have
once the hole has been fixed and the ship has embarked

no, the bond we have is not because of blood
it is from growing up side-by-side
and playing together by ourselves in the swimming pool
it is from being made time and time again to apologize to each other
until one day we learned how to do it ourselves
it is from the time I spilt silent tears but refused to speak my sorrow
and though our parents didn’t notice, you stayed by me
until you figured out and fixed what was wrong
living is hard, brother
you’ve made it harder with your harassments
but you are also there to help me shoulder burdens
when I’m just too weak to do it alone

brother, when Hiroshima has fallen and Rome lies in ruins
we will stand together
and we will not be afraid
because this bond has withstood fury and frustration and wrath
the mainsprings of war, the roots of devastation
and yet we always find our ways back to each other
it’ll take much more than hate
to break us






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