JB

he seems just a mere whisper in the night
a ghostly wraith
i could put my hand right through,
but no,
he’s really there, breathing,
standing unsteadily in the dark cool,
the light of the streetlamp
glinting off his head where hair used to be.

how long, how long will we have you?
days? hours? or perhaps just minutes.
you are barely there
i would put my arms around you
but for fear of breaking you.
you laugh and you smile
as if you are not in the act of disappearing
as if you are not in pain.

look at this long bold man
who forged his path
his own way
doggedly gripping this life even as he
ebbs into a world beyond —
what is it that we are? how is it that we stand
in this place of in-between together?
why must we suffer this collision?

even now,
look at you in the bright heat of the oven, 
hammering, crafting on the anvil
the only thing that means anything
at all.
and just look at this beautiful and cherished thing
you make in the midst of the
incomprehensible.

###

remains

my brother is gone

that well of moments shared
from the earliest of our days
tracing the paths of life 
we traveled together
but oh so alone
remains
remains

i knew you all of my life
until today
and knew you
not at all
a spinning planet
eclipsed by the unspeakable mysteries
that tear lives asunder

still you will be there in those photos
with your tender gifts
your laughter and pride
that boy
the almost frail one
the genius that would not find a home
the husband the father

unseen among them are
those closed doors
the terrible sorrows
the infinitely unanswered questions
making another epistle in the scripture
i pore over the verses
clearly written for a reason

the stilted scribble of your hand
lingers among my papers
while the passing of your life
is somehow
reduced to a text
my heart is full with you
but empty

the boy i thought i knew
the man of whom i knew only the periphery
go, strew yourself across the darkness
a constellation
there always on a clear night
for anyone who might look up
and wonder

my brother is gone

###