In 1992, you saw the umbilical cord

wrapped around my neck so firmly,

I almost exploded 

like a blueberry

fallen under a shoe

In 1995, the body of your red-headed 

brother was found in the woods,

body-blue and an exhaust pipe

stuffed with cotton-cloth

The house you grew up in

started tasting like ghosts
as dead flies started 

collecting beds on corpses –

three brothers, a father, a mother

The house I grew up in

smelled like bourbon

and antique dressers that

held more stories than 

the Bible itself

The house I grew up in

with its rickety stairs

and broken floorboards
and swollen doors

You would say, 

“watch your footing, 
don’t trip”
and I carried that phrase

in my pocket like a marble

The house you grew up in

collapsed in on itself

and left you for dead
a pool of alcohol-laced blood

and now I’m left questioning 

what has ever truly separated

the living from the dying

when they both weave

together so seamlessly

one slowly killing

the other