anger stains this land

poetry

in the dingy cigarette browned interior
of your childhood home town double wide
sits your brother in a tattered brown lay z boy
with a CPAP machine that is always on to
assist with his labored breath
“oh god” you say as the stale tobacco molecules
that yet linger in the air provide a subtle contact buzz
following the smell of whiskey aged in a rotten barrel
the constant rambling of the weather channel
and the machine humming and swishing in and
swooshing is slowly replaced by a loud
ringing between your ears as buried below what
sits before you barely awake is the smile
of a young blonde haired baby boy brought
home from borgess hospital, the one that fucked him up first
before everyone else got their licks in
ah, this familiar pain in your chest lives
with the dust bunnies beneath your bed
like the foundation of your home atop a burial ground

and how dare you want to cry
you machine cog of a man
for who do you ever cry for
but yourself?

it is not strength that you muster to walk up
and touch his hand with but profound guilt
and now aware of your presence he squeezes
out a smile behind his plastic mask because
he still loves his big fucking brother
and he reaches out to touch your hand
and for all your talk talk talk here you have nothing to say
except “i’m sorry,” but that would be too on-the-nose
and meaningless

so instead you talk about nothing
except what he wants to
and you turn off your phone, the sun goes down,
you sleep on the couch next to the chair
and you wake up to a machine pushing air
out of the sides of a tiny plastic mask
with nothing else looking familiar
except the anger that stains this land
where even after they empty out the
double wide and do something else with it,
the anger remains.

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