Meeting the boy who broke my little brother's heart

I look under his beanie, through his tortoiseshell glasses
and into his eyes, rimmed with corkscrew lashes I can imagine him giving
butterfly kisses with.

I hold his eyes as I remember sitting on my quilt, miles
away, listening to my little brother cry through the speaker, wringing
the tassels on the throw pillow to keep from throwing it, biting clean through
my lower lip.

I don’t look away, but I can see my brother’s shoulders pivot
toward us, can feel him clench the muscles around the hole in his jaw
that held his wisdom teeth before the surgery, when he was so doped up
he came out to mom and dad.

This boy chewed up my baby brother and
spit him out like spearmint gum that had lost its flavor,
and though I can say nothing in public, I shake his hand and hold on too long and
hope he sees in my eyes his reflection as I see him—a tiny sunspot
on the face of the brightest star in my life, dark
but insignificant.

Hannah Silvers is an Atlanta-based writer and editor with a deeply rooted love of both dictionaries and popcorn. Her poetry can be found in Vagabond City Lit, sea foam mag, and a variety of undergraduate publications. Follow her on Twitter @hannah_silvers if you don’t mind a healthy bit of post-modern punctuation.

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