Laid out in a stranger’s yard my brother’s
numbed himself again. Headlights pass,
white as pills on a porcelain sink.
We’re losing light. His forearms prove how dull
a blade can be. Night coils around us
like smoke from a snuffed cigarette.
Worry wears my mother’s voice.
Each breath of hers is a candle she cups
to keep lit & all her sentences start: I need—
My brother’s eyes roll back. A screen door slams,
a dog circles its crate, a lamp switches off
in one house then another.
I wait beside him knowing it’s best
not to count how long it’s been.
It’s not sadness I feel when I hear the wind
disturb someone’s chimes, the backfire
of an old Ford. Like my brother
I have a history of doing what I want