I'm at another airport.
You're at another shift on the golf course,
Though it probably feels more
Like a second home,
Than 'work' after all these years.
I'm looking through the glass wall
At grey clouds over the tarmac.
You've already trudged through the rain
Felt the wet earth under your steps
Observed the grass from several angles.
We both drink coffee and say charming things.
I'm recharged with that thing I don't describe very well,
The thing I look for in my friends and experiences
Across cities and bus tours
A thing I only find in flickers
Until I come home,
Sit next to you in Mom's old car...
I'm always going everywhere
Trying to learn the things
You just seem to know.
Always searching for the camaraderie and
Unspoken truths that pulse
In your furrowed brow and shuffled songs.
I'm taking in every opinion,
From here to Kalamazoo,
Arriving inevitably at some version of yours.
I'm always diving into new experiences and stories,
Emerging unjudged, unchanged in your eyes.
More often thousands of miles apart than together,
We still laugh at the same cartoons,
Appreciate the same spice level,
Point at the same things with sarcasm eyebrows,
Relish in the same choruses.
I obsess over my skills and resume.
I'll perform happily for a crowd of ten thousand
Or for the airport barista I just made eye contact with.
I'll try a joke on anyone I end up next to.
I'll sing an unfiltered tune in the shower at the gym.
I'll spend a little time with just about anyone:
A mortal enemy, a stranger, a largely absent father.
You prefer to observe, not be observed,
Probably why your jokes are 15% funnier.
You like the timeworn channels of communication and respect,
For those who have earned such things.
Your own brain is alight with poetry
Your heart overflowing with music
But you need no showcase,
No derivative tune to take to market and perform.
Knowing it exists is enough.
Taking in one record at a time is enough.
Your most potent and effective expression
Is your quiet, knowing appreciation.
I think it's the root of your Brother-ness.
I'll keep trying and you'll keep quietly knowing.
I'll keep bringing back examples of you
I've found under coastal stones, in friends from elsewhere.
You'll just hug me
Send me records
Memorialize our childhood with me on our next call,
And know me better than anyone.
*Written Fall 2018 and revised today