i called my brother a fag
and he ended it all
at fifteen he was peeled from the shiny red snow
fully nude
with his dick in his hand

a busy young priest said a prayer
between pistachios
then gave a salty pink-silvery smile
ain’t no cocksuckers in heaven i whispered
as he stroked my cold hand
in silence he blushed
and moved on

later in my brother’s room i found pantyhose
and yearbooks with hearts around rosy-cheeked fairies
i tried on the hose and pranced in the mirror
then laughed till i puked on the floor

i called him a pussy until he played ball
just so the sides would be even
i scored with my head buried deep in his chest
and stood over him roaring
while the tears began to well in his eyes
at the time i wasn’t sure
why he and i were different
i’m not sure he was either
but there in the rain
as he reached for my hand
for the first time
we both knew
it mattered

at thirty i can smell him
in my infant daughter’s hair