Your wedding day was a hurricane; your bride in red was like a kiss on
on the dry prairie dirt. You actually never told me the story of how it went.
The wedding, I mean. In fact, you never told me about how you chose
a DJ, or if the flowers glistened in the sunlight. I don't think you've ever
told me about the places you would love to see, either, or the way our dad
smelled when you were seven. I never heard about the night you fell in
love, or the days you fell in pain. I didn't hear from you the night your
mother died, or when our dad left you too. I don't know where you grew
up, or if you grew up next to me on that same dusty rez. I didn't hear the
stories of your triumphs and failures, how you loved math as a kid and
smoked too much weed in middle school; did you drop out or did you
graduate top of your class? You never indulged in telling me stories the
way brothers do. You didn't teach me how to shave, or how to talk to
girls. In fact, I never learned how to talk to girls; even now, I can barely
talk to myself. You never had the chance to keep me safe from rez dogs or
take me home from that party where I got too high. But there are things I
never told you, either. Like how I loved a boy, and I know, I know it's hard
to hear that your brother was gay, but I fixed that too. You never actually
had a brother, and your sister is straight, for the most part. I never got to
tell you about the time when that boy broke my heart. I'll never tell you
about how the ocean feels on my skin, or that I didn't know you existed
until I was already across the country. I'll never give you the pieces to
find me, or tell you that maybe I could be a poet, a sculptor of words.
And I will never tell you that for me, your wedding day was a hurricane.
Arielle Twist, "Brother" from Disintegrate Dissociate. Copyright © 2019 by Arielle Twist. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Disintegrate Dissociate (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019)