They always told us that the word 'nice'
And that no one had the key for its cell door
But you were always so goddamn 'nice'
That I couldn't help letting myself go
Bloody-handed with the evidence of it
Creeping from my lips.
You were so goddamn 'nice' that
When the house was empty of all but us
For the first time ever
You apologised to me for me breaking a plate
On your feet.
You goddamn 'nice' brother, you
Couldn't you just hit me back?
And give up being so goddamn 'nice'
And couldn't you just blame it on me
Because my conscience is stained by the way
You submitted your 'sorrys'
Like they were library books
On returned leave?
And you were so goddamn 'nice'
That you never condescended to treat me as equal
Or mark me as treasured
By splitting my face with a fist of retaliation
Or by raising the blade of your angry words
To the tissue-paper of my neck
When you were thirteen you stopped being goddamn 'nice'
Not to me
But to yourself
And, in 97.6% of ways,
That was worse.