He’s gorgeous, his brother—looks like Jared Leto.
In front of us the Grasshoppers
making quick work of the Ashville Tourists.
A row behind, Kathy’s friend Shannon—
hotdog in hand, oversized beer between the knees—
hungry for more about my brother.
Before Kathy relayed his relative beauty
her ass had shifted until she found her friend’s eyes.
She’d said it with such gusto—
such promise to beguile—I thought I’d drop it.
By the time the conversation landed
on his looks, I’d already rattled off, compiled since
prepubescence, his bouts with bad luck
easily remembered—easily said.
Josh, my brother, seven years younger, Jared Leto
lookalike, cell tower climber.
Bitten by brown recluse. Stung by 14 wasps
at once. Head bludgeoned by corner
baseboard. Kid on four-wheeler hit by truck. Fallen
angel at bottom of playground
slide. Face struck by Braves game pop-foul.
What harm would it do to stop there—leave them
to imagine a fetching specter
strolling through their innocuous afternoon.
A Saturday of scheduled fireworks. Tiered seating
bathed in sun. The only embarrassment
a pit stain or two. The harmless recurrent boom
of a t-shit cannon. The flinch after.
What good would come from inviting them
to see him hanging from the rafters
in our mother’s garage—hear the metal trestle give
under his weight. To see him hiding
in strangers’ cars—hear the voices he hides from.
I don’t tell them he’s removed the knob
from every door in his house. That no closed space
is safe unless he can see out.
Best to leave his suffering in the minor league.
A handsome phantom selling hotdogs.
Ghost-man on first gone astray midfield, searching
for the medication he can’t remember
tossing over the chain-link fence.
Like us all, a specter among spectators.
He’s really gorgeous—looks like Jake Gyllenhaal.