I fear masked men. Cloaked
cheeks, mouth hidden, eyes peering.
Ski mask or wrapped scarf, I tremble, my gut drops.
Brother’s murderers wore night
as a cloak. Collars turned up. Hats cast down into the dark
Recite the night.
I rouse Brother from sleep.
He exits the blue door almost naked,
except for boxers and slippers.
There are so many shadows here.
At first, Rain mutes danger. I wear a sloppy sweatshirt,
brain and instincts dull from sleep and Rain’s steady rhythm.
I enter this memory hoping for a clue, some
new understanding or to relive Last Moment with Brother–
Last Moment, whole.
But then there is Bullet. Then there is fear.
Explain–the ways it electrifies my tongue. I slip in and out.
I lick fear, spilling from my mouth into a howl when a
man on bus slips on ski mask.
He is not right. He stares and slinks. His grace uneases me.
I must grip something.
Learn this guilt. Days I am Lost Cause.
My body a burden I do not want.
Sometimes I want to tell everyone
who will listen that those men killed a part of me too.
They turned me jukebox,
I only know one song;
a haunted tune of the hunted.
My body does what it does. I need this. To understand
how I confuse Past and Present. I go searching the library
for answers. But Bullet only brings questions.
Living with the Unanswerable and Missing;
I learn joy after Bullet.
Cracking open. Buzzing salty with
indulgence. A brightness almost forgotten.
I stir it with the tip of a finger,
it teaches me to order a man to his knees.
Find the command in my voice.
There’s a strength here. I wear it like new skin.
We both like it. In these moments fear disappears.
Don’t tell me why.
Don’t pathologize this unexpected