My other, lonelier brother

My other, lonelier brother

is a digital hermit, bearded,
overweight, incisive, with arms
to crush you in a bear hug.

lives alone between the gun-grey Sound
and a Texaco, a  pavement wedge walk-up
in the slip of Bremerton.

curses the TSA, taxes, Republicans,
bad drivers. When we go for walks
in my calm neighborhood, well-tended,
I am always looking over my shoulder,

My other, lonelier brother

has forever beat me at chess, always
three moves ahead.  I visit at Christmas,
make the drive in rain masquerading
as snow. I arrive late. The board is set.
We share slowly warming Krogstad.

worries my vanquished pawns
with absent clicks. He weeps quietly,
his burled beard glistening,
lamenting. Fucking lamentations.

My other, lonelier brother

and I don’t agree on God,
though we share instinctively
the language of gnashing
of teeth, of sackcloth and ashes.

slides me the amber dregs. I drink
deep and look out on the Sound:
a trawler at night, its portals
lit, spilling like oil, flame
unfolding on the  waves.

(Published in There Is No Safety by Self Titled Publishing, 2013)

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