Brother, Age Six

Before the tenuous muslin of her marriage
had flickered away, before the piano,
one morning, you and I were becoming
in our mother’s favorite shoes. Left alone
in summer, the house emptied, our nightshirts
draped to our knees, we went to her closet:
open boxes, the pumps glossy and upright
as prizes in an auto show. You imitated her,
sauntering across the cream-colored carpet
until you fell. Then when I fell over you
we laughed until you pushed me off.
You looked and said, Do you sometimes
wanna go someplace else. I said, Where.
Then you stood up in your heels and practiced.

Matthew Gellman's poems are featured in Poetry Northwest, Narrative Magazine, The Cortland Review, Sugar House Review, Salmagundi and elsewhere. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize and a scholarship from the New York State Summer Writer's Institute. Matthew holds an MFA from Columbia University and currently lives in New York City, where he teaches at Hunter College.