My Brother’s Boy | d.a.s (via backshelfpoet)
The first time my brother brings home a razor blade, it is not for his weak and scraggly beard. I only learn this when I walk in on him in the bathtub, singing praises to his blood. He says his prayers and asks for silence, like this is Sunday mass, and after we will walk out and take off our shiny shoes.
The first time my brother brings home a rope, it is not to play cat’s cradle. He ties himself a noose and lassoes his neck. Here he is thirteen, coughing up apologies, trying to keep this in. That day, blue is no longer a beautiful color.
The first time my brother buys a gun, he is hungry for the beginning. He flashes a fake ID and does not let the shopkeep know that he is just sixteen, thinking about biting down on the barrel. Yes, he wants bullets in his brittle bones.
The first time my brother takes his pills, it is not to get better. With doctor’s orders of only two a day, he swallows twelve one hour and fifteen the next, leaves the bottle empty on the floor. I hold back his hair when he tells me he doesn’t want to live anymore, and I do not say that 911 knows our family by name.
The first time my brother brings home a boy, I know this is the one that will not leave him with scars. I walk in on them kissing in the kitchen, hands slow and soft, away from all the knives and glass. My brother does not choke on his apologies anymore, but lets his lover eat them from his mouth.
I lock the door. I think of Spring.