sidebrow

I capture my brother in a mayonnaise jar and watch his nervous flutter

We didn’t believe in cornfields, but followed the rows,

detassling in dirty socks every summer.


When listening to music we buried our pockets

over the speakers and smiled into the booming.


There are things he tried not to hear. The failing

transmission of my father’s truck, children laughing


at the marks of seizure on his arms. I began pulling teeth

from his brown hair, wondering what a handful might say.


One year he said he was October. He painted my thumbs green,

said my eyes had gotten wider and asked if I believed bodies


could come back. I asked from where? And he just laughed.

I said I don’t like things green. He said it was a joke.


I said I only have red string. He replied what?

when I didn’t hold his shoulder. I imagined crab apples


taking bloom off the word, over his head, branching

into tea kettles and lanterns — sudden and fluttering.


I knew he would never leave town.