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My Brother

Honorable Mention – 2018 Poetry Contest

My brother’s buying some late night drive-thru tacos
finds an empty parking lot
takes two bites and starts to choke on his tears
throws the meat and shells onto cracked concrete.

He cries, confined in his self-made solitude
because he’s lost and fat and feels too old at thirty
to love himself enough to let his parents find love in him.

As he tries to catch his breath, his heavy chest trembling
despair’s miserable voice forces its way up his throat:
escaping as shrill staccato wails
tapering in leaky muffled defeat
never reaching the edge of the parking lot.

He wants to forget these goddamn gaslights
overused check cards, midnight binges, trashy apartments.
Forget it all and let a father’s hug, a mother’s kiss
make him innocent again. Instead,

the darkness leaves him hungry with no appetite
with only his car engine coughing in cold air
and a broken taco to believe in.

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Contributors

Nathan J. Reid is a spoken word poet and actor living in Madison. His work has appeared in various publications, including Bramble Lit Magazine, Fox Cry Review, and the poetry anthology GREAT: Poems of Resistance & Fortitude.

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