a saving grace

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… You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who’s not beside you or behind you or
ahead because he’s home trying to
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eights hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don’t know what work is.
Philip Levine, “What Work Is”

Filed under philip levine what work is poetry brothers

  1. asavinggrace posted this