my brother is an opera

made of mirrors & teeth. x-rays 
of jaws bones & spotlights following us
around the house. all of us really 
will be some kind of performance.
i was a quartet & then i became 
a silent film. he sings every word 
& every word is a stepping stone
towards the apocolypse. he assks what should
we tell god when we see her?
i suggest was say that we had instruments 
made of horse hair
& brothers opening their hearts
on the roof. a brother is always 
a site of doubling back. return.
once i had long hair just like him. 
now i wear the skull of stone. he rubs oils
into his beard. dusts off his feet
before putting on socks. i buy 
special binoculars to look at my brother.
i build a baucony from where i can
watch him without the threat 
of becoming part of the story. 
distance is sometimes a demonstration 
of commitment. i am not always a good brother.
operas are always endless. even when he sleeps
he's singing. what's next & next & next.
a trap door in the stage where
he will emerge in a long dress.
his fingers like silk. a piano upsidedown 
& floating towards us down the street.
i wish i could take up more space
when i need a catastophe. become 
another brother in my darkness. 
instead, i find a harp & hold it
like an infant. the opera is never over.
the intermission is a handful of corn.
i tell my brother i love him 
& i try not to sing it. he knows i do.
he knows. a spotlight makes my shadow 
clearer than ever before.
my shadow & his shadow escape
to catch their breath. what if
we were both just voices? 
then we would fit nicely inside a jar.
my soprano. his bass. a blur 
of family. soon he will be older than me. 

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