Do You Love Your Brother?

                 He was my everything. I followed him around like a shadow. He colored my world. I remember being so small that the only thing I saw was the lumpy sculpture of the grey-beige carpet. Seeing lego blocks scattered, assuming no order- except the order his hands placed them in. Deepest brown eyes. Happy eyes that loved me.

                 Time passes, now I stand. Lines on the kitchen wall, his lines higher. His hands stronger. His laugh: magic. We shared tub time, I wanted a dingle too. Like his. I wasn’t made right. No more baths. I make a mess, he is blamed. His eyes don’t shine as much.

                    Mommy is gone now, work calls her late at night, all night. Dad is tired, busy, tired. He is there for me, ever watching, my big brother. Hand burnt on fried bologna, his eyes are angry. I ruined his time with his friends. Now I am “little sister”, said like swear word. Gets his first dirtbike, takes me for rides. Races-I cheer. Gets run over-I cry. Dad hits him-I cry. Mom hits him- I cry: “don’t hit my brother”. I cry.

                      I am taller, boobs now. Molested by old man, he won’t talk to me now. Lose my virginity, he won’t talk to me now. Screwing his friends, he won’t talk to me now. He stands up for me when I am mistreated- I stay with the boyfriend, he won’t talk to me now. I do drugs with his friends, he won’t talk to me now. I am school whore… he won’t talk to me ever. He leaves me. I don’t cry anymore. Moves away. I don’t cry anymore. Just do more drugs.

                        I leave home, leave state, leave reality, leave parents, try to leave addiction. Travel 2000 miles. Come home, steal money, go to grandma’s steal money. get job, steal money. Dad retires, steal his money. Parents send me to rehab- big waste of money, detox, money, rehab, money. He does not talk anymore. I meet convict, habit-offender. He tells me not to go. I don’t listen, I go. Get beaten, get stabbed, get shot at- can’t go home: he was right. How can I admit, he was right?  I suffer, pay my penance. Bad husband goes to prison. I come back  to family- he talks to me now.  I adore him again.

                        I get sober, get saved, all love, no hate. He gives me job, so now we talk. I tell him about my love for God, Something changes: he doesn’t talk anymore,  his wife:doesn’t talk anymore,  my nephew doesnt talk anymore. My Mom loves God, tells him. Something changes: he doesn’t talk to her anymore. She gets sick, he doesn’t come, doesn’t talk anymore. I love her, stay with her, she dies. He doesn’t come, he doesn’t talk, he doesn’t mourn, he doesn’t help, he doesn’t love. I cry.

                         Our father was mean, now he is sick, he doesn’t talk, doesn’t call. I need help, beg for help. he says no, never.  He doesn’t talk, doesn’t come, doesn’t love. I cry. Daddy has 6 months, I am here, in pain, sad, alone. He and his wife and his child, don’t talk.  I call, I beg. He doesn’t call, he doesn’t come, he doesn’t help. Dad doesn’t cry, not anymore. Neither do I, not anymore. He doesn’t either.   Or does he?

                            I hurt, I cry, I am angry, I am sad. But I remember when I loved. I remember when I cried, I remember when I hugged his lanky, dark haired, dark eyed beautiful self. When his eyes protected me. When I cried,”don’t hit my brother.” I cry, and love him, 

                                  now.