It is strange, how tragedy can rearrange the days.
I had a brother, in secret.
No one knew that he had a name, but us. We were sworn to hold the name
Behind our tongues, to tread water, keep my mother afloat.
It was the kind of secret that is like holding your breath,
a burning, expanding monster that gnaws away at your throat.
That takes your words.
We found out on a Friday afternoon, and the weekend passed,
With no sign of daylight, and no sleep,
There was no way to pretend.
And so it all feels like one long day, and the only moment I can seem to remember
is when my father collapsed in the door frame, under the weight of all that nighttime that was all around us.
I watched him there, in a heap on the floor, and I realized that it was Monday,
And that I should be in school, and he at work.
As if someone had flung up the shades, I saw us there
in the mottled sunlight the screen door let in.
There we were, and we were never the same.