Rescue Me from Ladder 49


Saw another picture of my brother climbing a ladder

how high does he have to climb to get our mother’s attention?

to say nothing of our father


you can’t ask him, not directly. I doubt he’d do anything but angry things

you can’t talk at him; all his hummingbirds are dead


dead, I’m afraid, yes. the water keeping his heart alive has gone toxic, no bird washes

itself there any longer


dinosaur teeth can be quickly swept up from the stream’s stony bank, collected all in the palm of one’s hand. I can see this all from where I’m hanging from my ankles upside down


hummingbirds and dinosaur teeth, how exciting! my brother is somewhere between the second and third floors. he hollers down, something about leg day if his words are not mistaken


there is still room for mountains of misunderstanding. I’ll climb each summit, reach each peak, if only to see my brother on his ladder from wherever I end up, wherever I contact frostbite and die


humming what? humming some forgotten song by Sum 41, a song my brother might be able to hear, somewhere between the 10th and 11th floor, on his ladder


or Dierks Bentley if I want to piss him off


I was laughing with him, not at him, but he’d never know that, not from high up there


so I slap my naked palms on the wall below him, feel the concussive impacts spread out through the wall’s framework, feel my palms absorb the white-hot pain of each slap; my bones devoured


I don’t think he means for me to see those pictures like this, but I also know he doesn’t read poetry, and I doubt he’d understand what I’m trying to say, to say nothing of what I did say


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