The first time my brother brings home a razor blade, it is not for his weak and scraggly beard. I only learn this when I walk in on him in the bathtub, singing praises to his blood. He says his prayers and asks for silence, like this is Sunday mass, and after we will walk out and take off our shiny shoes.
The first time my brother brings home a rope, it is not to play cat’s cradle. He ties himself a noose and lassoes his neck. Here he is thirteen, coughing up apologies, trying to keep this in. That day, blue is no longer a beautiful color.
The first time my brother buys a gun, he is hungry for the beginning. He flashes a fake ID and does not let the shopkeep know that he is just sixteen, thinking about biting down on the barrel. Yes, he wants bullets in his brittle bones.
The first time my brother takes his pills, it is not to get better. With doctor’s orders of only two a day, he swallows twelve one hour and fifteen the next, leaves the bottle empty on the floor. I hold back his hair when he tells me he doesn’t want to live anymore, and I do not say that 911 knows our family by name.
The first time my brother brings home a boy, I know this is the one that will not leave him with scars. I walk in on them kissing in the kitchen, hands slow and soft, away from all the knives and glass. My brother does not choke on his apologies anymore, but lets his lover eat them from his mouth.
I lock the door. I think of Spring.
Someone carved this into a table backstage. I don’t know who it was but to think that I may have encountered them at one point or even just read their name somewhere on a wall is amazing.
What really sucks is having to go to work and interact with people and function when all you want to do is curl up in a ball on the floor and cry and hurt yourself until your body just gives up and you stop existing.
You told me once that you would break my heart.
I asked you not to be such a goddamn
cliche, but then you left me because part
of you was still broken. You say some man
pried open the cracks of you, dug holes where
once there were none, so now you just cannot
love me how I deserve, and darling, therein
lies the problem: you can you can you can
you can you can you can you can you can.
Your reasons why are no good reasons why.
We said we should not fall in love and then
we showed each other our most quiet
scars: my wrists, your upper thighs, and now you say
this too easily: you say you cannot stay.