Where Bullet Breaks
See where Bullet broke
Brother, see where I break
where we split into before
and after. We fracture at the root, both
believers in science and prayer.
there is childhood home. There is porch,
and twinned doors. 18 panes
of glass. Something
is always being
broken, by a ball, falling
and breakdancing boys.
bodies spin, on hardwood. Bone
and tendon twist. They are breakers.
See their hands touching chest–touching
heart, back and forth. Rush
of hot breath. They coil like DNA
They are so alive.
Were we ever this alive?
door, replaces glass panes. Even
before Bullet, those muscled days
seemed long ago, as years grew
into safety, into a steadyness,
until that sharp night.
there is so much noise,
so much darkness, no
music. Bullet steals the beat,
takes thigh, chest and brain
of brother. Steals my breath.
My Bullet is in the sky
blue door, in the metal,
in a monent. It hangs there,
that hook in me, to you.
I was once unafraid, to open doors, I flung them wide, cast
my arm out into the wild of city, but then I opened
that door. Brother, there was once six bullets, two men and they came for you–
hunted you. I can't make out their faces, they hide in the sorrowed
weathered night, hide in my well of darkness. In the rain, I can see no stars, no bright mass
of plasma, my sky is all brown pupil and white sclera. Bullet comes
quick, my brain liquid. I want us to fly, like the old ones, whose arms became wings, who
grew fluttering bird hearts, I want to meet on the North Mountain, at that cupped
arrow, to nest above the wreckage. But we are so mortal, and there is little magic left
in this world. Long ago, we were birthed from a people named after Pain, now
those words feel right when Brain Bullet is so final–
But I survive–to breath ghost and speak phantom. Every night
I wait for my wings, for prickly feathers to sprout from my shoulder blades, wait
for sharpness to break flesh–leaving, my arms vestigial, leaving me, unafraid to fly.
One Year Memorial
One year after, and we look to the blue
cataract sky. We are so heavy–
we let wetness trickle,
to skin, let it open–
on to us, want it to give back
a little of what it has taken.
For Brother we hold a hundred white balloons.
In this California desert
we worry little about seagulls or sea
turtles filling their mouths
with our balloons–our hunger,
our longing. Because here,
the ocean is a mouthed
wish, and the only beach is our cracked
concrete porches, where we look out
into a sea of brown nubbed grass.
For Brother we cling to globed helium.
Your daughter, tracks her balloon,
sole pink globe, from kid palm, to stiff
branched palm tree–to cloud. One year
after, and this is easy–it's just a balloon she's letting go
and not your calloused hands that once lifted her up.
For Brother, we release a hundred white balloons, we release, release–
My hand releases–opens
to rain. I want to believe
in something–I am ready to be bathed,
by sun, but it remains buried, in the gloom
of sky, occasionally squinting glimmers,
I search the clearing for helium light–weightlessness.
We are always searching–the bravest, reddest part
of ourselves for some signs of Brother.