Death Is Easy To Hold

Death is easy to hold,
especially if it’s your brother.

Perhaps I would like to imagine
the perfect scenario.
Music playing in the background,
the sun shining,
more than ever;
all gravity centered on me.
But music doesn’t play in the background;
the sun is burning, not shining.

My mother did not look at him,
maybe because she was scared
or because she
didn’t want to hold onto things
that could not be.
And maybe that’s exactly what everyone did,
in that room.
They forgot about him;
he is no longer mentioned.
My mother says she only has three children,
not four.

But I…
I hope to remember the weight
that felt like nothing—
the soft blanket,
my crying and the stillness of everything.
Just me and him—
alive and then dead.
Mostly dead because he was dead and everyone felt that way.
I wish I could remember his face, most of all.
But I don’t.
He is a faded shadow,
a blurry face and an unopened door.

People don’t stop being dead
just because you want to forget.

I can try to remember.
I can try to remember the gut feeling of stillness,
of love and connection.
My lungs crying with my eyes
because they were too tired.
My mother crying, crying
because I could hold her dead son and she couldn’t
because that would destroy her.

There was a child holding a dead one.
The dead one
would be placed three feet under ground
and the other one
would be so fucked up
she would have endless days of grieving and suffering
for the dead one.

He felt alive,
but his heart was still.
And he would remain still,
in a coffin,
under the dirt,
alone and rotting.
That’s death;
that is him.