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Brothers

by Andrew Broadous

May 2019

In this photograph from 1998,

we elected, rather, were told, to wear

two white T-shirts, black shorts straight

from the dryer and boots for our hike

on dirt roads where boxelder bugs and

garter snakes gibbered in confidence.

Our tiny backs to this one vinyl memory,

we seemed to trade our childhoods

for a vanishing point as easily as a sack

 

lunch of honey butter sandwiches.

Adult would mean to grow up,

and we’d both feel the shock of how

speedily a noun can change.

We’ve tried to convince more than

just ourselves that it’s only a word,

that we can turn on it as easily as we

turn this page, how we can still turn

 

on our heels in the dust and face the

white-hot lens steadying the time,

the moment that has already passed—

pressed us flatly and beautifully into

an album where we’d walk not run

beside mint leaves and lavender,

the world bunched at our ankles,

 

believing we were the heroes.