Letters to My Brother

Brother, today I sit on the brick bench of the house
—Cesar Vallejo

Brother today I sit on the brick bench
of the house where we grew up
and think back to another time
when the two of us were young,
you younger than me, and the way
we’d bicker about everything. Your
hands in the pond by the side
of the house searching for tiny
green frogs, you so much faster
than me and how I was only searching
for you, my palm upturned and waiting
for some sign of closeness between us,
but you were only passing time
hoping for the next fleeting thing
that couldn’t be caught, your fingers
dipped beneath the murkiness of water
even now, the best place to hide. 

Brother today I sit at the cemetery
where our parents are buried,
both of them in the same tomb, father
above mother so carefully placed in their
ornamental caskets as I watch the sparrows
in the nearby olive trees and the squirrels
scamper over grass, and I remember
the day we walked this boneyard 
together, our feet sinking into the softness
of  newly opened ground, how we said
things will be different now, how we said,
from this day on, we’ll stay in touch
the way we always should have,
the way our parents would have hoped
for, yet here I am, sitting on this bench
alone, without you, we’ve not spoken
in months, or maybe we have, but I don’t
think we said anything worth remembering.

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