I've been thinking about my brother a lot lately...
At least three times a day I wish I could send him a text message, a terrible song lyric by Skee-Lo or some other crappy R&B singer from the 90s...
Iraq feels further away than it ever has before. The last time he was there, I never had a cell phone, so I couldn't just fire off a text and wait for a laugh. I had to write letters and wait a month for a phone call.
I wrote this poem because I was disillusioned the night before he left from his last visit:
This horror floated ashore from the sea of memory,
a corpse that looked too familiar to ignore
too much like myself.
It was only drunk talk on a Saturday night
guys shooting pool
shooting the breeze.
(But my own brother--
builder of snowbank forts
screamer of obscenities
bestower of bruises
the same man who stood up for me--
crossed a line.
"There is nothing"
"like pulling the trigger and watching the guy fall down.")
shooting my image of my only brother.
He is never coming back.
My image of him was blown. Completely. And yet, all I can think about is how much I'd like him to sing "I Wish." I wish I were a little bit taller; I wish I was a baller. I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit in a hat and a bat....