My stepbrother: who might not be in heaven.
Whose body didn’t know which way to swim
from that wreck, after his new girlfriend’s Kia
flipped, slid into the Platte, and sank five feet
under. Who had not cuss words but air bubbles
spilling out from his mouth. He swam the way
he thought was up – but it wasn’t, so he swam
the way that was back down. So he drowned.
He was sensitive, like me, is what they’d said
that night, when Dad called him a pussy and
he’d cried. If each memory gets its own room
in a big orange house, I’d want to put this one
in a safe place – high in the attic, where Stephen
liked to sleep: he’d drawn all these pentagrams
with white-out on the rafters, and we’d stretched
our arms up, linked fingers, and roared like dogs
snarling spells in the name of Lucifer. Whose
name – he taught me – means bringer of dawn.