For My Brother

— Karisma Price

You are the most tender part
of our father and the softest
part this side of the grave.
I greeted your arrival
with sweet eyes and spread
fingers, a choir of barrettes
clapping in unison as I pressed
my 5 year-old head to your grown
man chest. If you were supposed to be
the holiest thing I’ve met,
the accidental conjuring
of something, or the beautiful
darkness considered
betrayal: the baby that did not break
my mother’s womb, the product
of two lovers hungrily
embracing, calling it harmless,
as innocent as a man holding
another man from the back
of a motorcycle. If our meeting was
an attempt to anoint our father’s
mistake, you have failed.


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