• Lucia Joyce

Brother-ness


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...


Brother-ness.


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

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