all the trees stood like skeletons
silhouettes of spilled ink
and the snows fell in sheets and got wrapped around our feet
we built the fire evermore with winter beating at the door

brother’s eyes were getting heavier
his bony hands cold and white
and I could hear his ragged breathing like the wind along a knife
there beside him through the night, in the hum of candlelight
I no longer felt the time

brother woke just after midnight
and he didn’t make a sound
and as he climbed from out of bed with severed rings around his head
his feet didn’t touch the ground

I could feel it then
a tiny miracle
so I followed him
into the woods
crossed beneath the trees
but only I left my prints in tow
he was afloat
found a lonely tree
and tied himself within its limbs
and he said to me these words:
don’t you fear for me,
I am where I’m supposed to be.

and when I woke he was gone
and I was wrapped in blankets on the lawn
the sky was blue and my skin matched the hue
and I could hear mother crying in your room
from here on out I wear this face for both of us

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