Telling My Brother about War
I start by saying, You know in our country we are very lucky, when the violence opens its petals in the spring, there are usually sirens close behind. We mostly have the shelter of a tall, well-constructed building, or we have our own weapons. Sometimes we can scare the dark without talking. Sometimes we even get to fire first. Here we are bone, and we are daydream. But in other places, I say, a girl does not get a choice of which part of her will be mishandled. In other places you are not my brother but a boy I will never meet. Here we wear our grief in screaming matches between parked cars, between the Laundromat and the Dollar General. Elsewhere, though, a mother does not get to say no to a father. Elsewhere, I say, when the police arrive, there is nothing they cannot put their hands on. Elsewhere, I explain, a family cannot tell each other one thing but mean another without bringing a bucket to clean up the blood.
Sarah Carson was born and raised in Michigan but now lives in Chicago. She is the author of three chapbooks and two full-length collections of poetry: Poems in which You Die (BatCat Press) and Buick City (Mayapple Press). Read more of her work at www.sarahamycarson.com .