Elephant (My Brother/My Hand)



Soren Stockman

This morning, my brother and I tell each other
we are addicts. We are not resentful, we
speak openly, briefly, matter-of-fact. It’s not quite
true anyways. He likes to fling himself into things,
I prefer to hurl myself out. When he calls me
from his bedroom, I know he will want to be touched—
on his outstretched arm, his side, one leg crossing
on his bed if I come to him, on mine if not.
He orders delivery, hoarse over the phone, chicken
lo mein
. I sit on my bed; I will not leave.
We kill for its tusk, we don’t want to kill,
we tell ourselves. We have not had, nor have we lost,
our great chances, we tell ourselves. There is authority
within a space too pure for authority, we listen to it,
and the words undo, themselves unstitch, don’t mean
too much. My kin by my side, two wandering kings,
too much wandering. The first human in the first garden
had to have, had to say at some point, Love’s debt
is to me, eyes caught on whichever heaven
they saw beckon like a flare, and in my vision,
the smoking gun at the end of my arm is my own hand.