the left-behind brother

he was the brother/left behind/when she went to college/brighter and with a lighter step/he was heavy/trapped in the space she left/vacant/thoughts empty of ideas/a life empty of substance/a world quiet with no friendship/he was the brother/who lived as a backdrop/to something better/that always took center stage/left behind/when her laughter walked out the door/when childhood leaves you incomplete/he couldn’t compete/with a sister who was made of fire/that made him gray/he was the brother/who learned to hurt others/not feeling anything/felt normal/maybe no one feels things/maybe he can stab without repercussions/looking for a home/for a hole shaped to fit him/looking for a place to fit in/he never found it/he was the brother/of a professional pretender/the brother of a quick learner/he was the brother/who couldn’t blend in/so he got left out/to die slowly/to age backwards/to wait for a princess in shining armor/to rescue him from the tower/but princesses don’t come/because if we’re all waiting…/some of us learn to stop waiting/some of us get/left behind/he never learned how to stop waiting/what happens when no one teaches him/assuming that lessons learned can be self-taught/a classroom in your head/he was the brother who/cried when everyone else did something wrong but he did not/standing alone gets lonely/forgetting how to grow up is lonelier/that might have been the beginning/of his life as a left-behind/he is the brother/of a sister who didn’t choose him/when will someone/choose him?

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