Memories of my Brother

I decided I would challenge myself to write a poem for my brother every day this month and this is the result. It is rough and rugged and it is a mere work-in-progress but I'm just writing down stuff I want to say.


22. XXII

When it comes to you
It is all in the details

It is ingrained into the melodies
Of a CD I no longer play
But that used to hum
The words of a mainstream world
Into the deafening obscurity
Of our routines

It is in the way our vicar said your name just a little wrong
When he read you from
The Prayer List

And the way that every stranger
We knew
Offered me condolences like they were condiments
And my friends were roundabouts
Between enforcing upon me
An aura made of eggshells
And the unconsideredness of their years
Their relationship with time and space
Was one that did not feature death
Or destruction

It is in the way that some indented kid
Was watching the Hunger Games in the background
While they explained the necessity of
Naso-gastric tubes
And I thought more about the way I knew I recognised
Something of the Tributes Parade music
But could not join the dots to the film
Than I did about the idea of a tube that would slice
Away another piece of your human nature
Like cheese wire

And it is in the exact peculiarity
Of the position you acquired when you rocked
And shook on the floor
And the melting-clocks surrealism,
The time suspension, of my big brother
Being foetal

It is in the way that a heart monitor read 27
And the way that the paramedics wished us luck
When they stole you into the ambulance
With your tin-foil lunch
Unyieldingly distant from your stomach
And how I watched you
Try to stand and insist that there was nothing wrong
With the creeping audacity to feel hungry,
To feel sorry for myself
Because in that precise moment
I knew I had been loosed;
I had confided but once
In an ear that could not comprehend
And all rugs had been levered from beneath me
The sky had pieced itself around
On the trampled floor

I stood in a hospital garden
Made of glass scaffolding
And jellied legs
And dialled deep into a world of quick-fire, cross-draw
In the hope that a solution
Was hung out for me on the other end of the line

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