i. fifteen months

my brother, head too wide for thin hips,
had been extracted with a scalpel. the new nurse
pressed the afterbirth out of her belly and
she screamed. i screamed longer.

ii. eight years

i smoothed my brother's hair while i held him
alone on grandmother's stained couch and told him
mom wasn't dead, just blown up
like a red balloon, tongue swollen into silence.
i thought i was lying.

iii. sixteen years

when she couldn't carry her own spine,
i held her purse and followed her rented scooter
through the grocery store. she
backed beeping into the fresh pie display
and, jointly splashed with raspberries,
we exploded in laughter.

iv. twenty-one years

bracing one foot against the porcelain,
i fished my mother out of the bathtub
when she had taken one pill too many and

her blood had split apart. she
was coated in spilled shampoo
but i tucked her into bed
and talked to her about the attractive weatherman
on channel thirteen news, until she asked
to be helped outside for a cigarette.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s