on the loss of my brother, Walter

walter looking at paradeIt is enough

the refrain I have been cratering in my chest since a few weeks ago when I realized that it will be thirty years next month since you died

It mutters and insists and rubs against my rib cage like a cat. Not a clean sweet smelling cat but a foul breathed feline waiting to jump up onto your chest and smooch with you while you have your morning coffee or your book -or anything else to which you would like to give your attention.

And now I am the old one

Sequestered in an imaginary attic spinning filaments of our history into a story that no one else can know. About walking on snow crusted so hard that it held our weight and did not leave an indent of footprints and skating on frozen back yard puddles with double bladed skates buckled onto our shoes and nursery rhymes about kittens with no mittens, spinach that really did make popeye strong, and our parents who would be home when we returned

And it is enough that I have these words spun out into the universe, like an infinite web, hanging from fragments of a life no longer retrievable, even in myth, or frozen tragic acts.

It is enough that I still see you in my skin and the expressions of the children I have raised who never knew you: who do not, and cannot, muster your memory into their consciousness because to them you never existed at all except for some figment of my mind that they had no access to.

It is enough that I know finally that I cannot go back even to some physical space that we occupied together, nor can I ever escape it.

That knowing that while you were once here, ( skating on thin ice ) with me, you are no more by my side

and even though I keep you in my heart, still breathing the same air that you once drew, you have finally ineradicably gone and without ever meaning to or wanting to I have had to let you go, and I did not realize I was doing so until I already had.

As though to hold on to you meant I could have you back: reel in the filaments that I had spun and pull you back into safety, back to the kittens with sticky tongues and cowboy hats and red twin bedspreads, broken bicycles and barstool visitation.

But it was never so.

And now it is enough. Because it has had to be. Like some magic number has been rendered, a crossroads met, the center of the web is spun and enough fibers have been rearranged and I have amassed enough of my own corporeal weight

to be whole with out you for as much time as I have left

if only to be able occupy this lonely winter planet and try to make some peace, some art and life,

in the universe that still makes no sense without you, and which will be forever unbalanced and beautiful

like a huge icicle that dangles precariously overhead but does not ever come crashing to the waiting frozen earth

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