Sometimes when I look in the mirror,
I can’t help but see your face looking back at me, yellowed with jaundice,
Eyes puffy with lack of sleep.
When you died,
People worried my baby brother would follow in your footsteps,
That your demeanors are the same.
But I know it’s me.
We got along well because we understood one another.
I see the light in you that sees the light in me.
I know your numb. Your death gifted me that.
I try to remember how to smile.
But I just want to Nyquil away the nightmares.
Sometimes when I walk down the road,
With the cars blurring past
I imagine stepping out, on an impulsive whim.
I try to feel what you may have felt,
there on the self-serving tip of insanity.
People say you didn’t pause to think of us, that you wouldn’t have done it.
But what’s worse is I know you did. You thought enough to write down a name, a number,
A pretty little printout as if to say “Call them. They’ll clean it up.”
But we weren’t worth the effort of breathing.
I don’t believe in heaven like you do.
Just the random disbursement of cells and energy, the recycling of carbon and matter.
And I once believed in love, before it shattered into crushed bones and blood somewhere along Highway 78.
You’re everywhere. And I hate you.
But I can’t let go of you for fear of losing myself.
So instead I breathe.