July 31, 2013

My brother makes lists of what he needs to live.
He is down to a towel, a small rucksack,
good socks, rice and beans and clementines, and flip-flops
for strange showers. He wants to be a saint
and the holiest travel light. Easier to press close
to God wearing only a thin shirt and holding
a short list of other loves. He worries, sharp-nosed
and sweet, how much to treasure a sturdy hat
or a stack of warm tortillas; he digs his fingers
into the rocky, well-loved home soil. He’ll have to shake it off,
so’s not to be weighed down on his way to heaven.
In this late night during a visit home, our parents
snore tenderly in a distant room. We do not speak of loving
God more than one’s family, though we both know
the rules; we do not speak of knees scarred by prayer.
Loss and revelation both come in whispers: we do not speak.