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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.

But first,
there is childhood home. There is porch,
and  twinned doors. 18 panes
of glass. Something
is always being

                                                                    broken, by a ball, falling
                                                                                   broom, scuffling
                                                                                            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?

Sky blue
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.


image: Andromeda Veach