Brother | Teen Ink

Brother MAG

October 1, 2018
By TobiasEliot DIAMOND, San Diego, California
TobiasEliot DIAMOND, San Diego, California
53 articles 0 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul." -Pablo Neruda


My brother handed me anger at a young age

He served violence as his gift to me

He directed his agitated fists at my body

And now he is the reason I have taught myself to be gentle

Because he made every day a battleground,

His emotions became my bruises

I learned to duck and dodge and swerve

I learned to turn myself into stone

Cool, steady, unbreakable

I learned how to melt into corners and hide beneath blankets

I learned how to turn my head so instead
of my nose his fist would hit my cheek

I learned how to fear anger and hands and knuckles and palms and mouths

The one thing I never learned was how
to fight back

Instead I took the blows and words

Absorbing them into my fragile bird body

And it turned me into a hardened, distant boy

Hiding behind walls

Cringing from touches and gestures and skin

I have never had the audacity to speak venom

I have never had the right to howl anger

He took that from me

I have never had the courage to hit anything but a wall

I never got to feel safe around men who raised their voices

He took that from me, he took so much

And … and … now he has turned me
into a boy who is afraid of anger

Afraid that there is a piece of him inside me

Afraid that I could become him

Afraid, afraid, afraid

They say I got my eyes from my grandmother

My humor from my father

My body from my mother

So thank you, brother

Because it looks like all I got from you 

Is fear 



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