she felted the fourth child last night in the dryer.
used a pattern from an old cook book. a brother
is never an intention. replacement for burried tongue.
siblings, we sew ourselves together each night:
a needle through each of our thumbs. to come apart
would be to no longer be a brethern. sometimes,
i walk as far as the tether will let me--edge of the garden.
boundary where the world drops off into gushing water & star.
did you ever think, "maybe i could have been
a water lily?" or "if not here then when?"
the new brother was nothing like us. no skin
to make a blood pact. no eyes to blink for signals.
just a soft little body & button all across his face.
when he slept, we stole buttons & used them like coins.
the machines never noticed they just whirled
& swallowed. if i were an only child i would mitosis
in the pink petri dish & give myself another.
scrape him from my own doubling & call him "brother."
sometimes, in the wrong light, no one recognizes me
from my past. i turn celophane & i wrap the sky
to the dirt so it doesn't spoil. most landscapes
are artfully layered jello. the kiss of god's fridge.
i ask mother why she knitted another one when we already
have the three of us & she said nothing. a brother
is never an intention. arrival is seldom decided
by the arriving. here i am, holding my thumb & looking
at the string straight through it. i ask my brother
if we could walk a little closer to the window
but he is asleep so i scoop him up. carry him next to me.
watch the headlight cookie-cutter the night street.