My brother stopped breathing
On our plane to Disney World
& where mom’s sitting, in the aisle
Seat, there’s now an empty space
& the seatbelt’s an ampersand
Splayed across cushion. I tell the man
In the window seat the boy
Who stopped breathing is my brother
& he distracts me with a wallet photo,
Chats about his daughter
& I smile, but the sun through the window
Is a blister bursting on my cheek
& I smile but keep glancing
At the big comma in the middle of the aisle,
Which equals brother. Mom’s body moves
Through the motions of emergency
& here in the air, her face
Sets like a reddened sun.
I thought this trip would let us
Pretend, play a wallet-photo family:
Mom’s face, red-sad sun—
I thought so wrong.
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