What He Should Have Had

It’s not fair says my
brother talking at me over
his pint glass

I belong on a yacht we 
had that you know we 
had a yacht 

we never had a yacht
you mean one of mom’s boyfriends did I poke
at the red-filmed ice of my spent Bloody Mary
I order another as my brother continues his story
of what we should have had

all that shit he
says those rich 
guys those condos 
in the city

but she moved us to 

at this there is a long sigh an
eye roll another beer in his
fist and he drinks it angrily

and I am noticing
how handsome my
brother is

his pitch-colored hair his jaw
his big smile how he looks
like Superman like Freddie
Prinze Jr. in some romantic
comedy made for teenagers
in the nineties

driving back up the coast to
our ancestral home I sleep in
the woods send him pictures of
whales and a roadside motel
we stayed in as kids

but he’s busy with his
list of all the things we
should have had

he is writing them down
and marking them off

when we say goodbye I
watch my older brother try
not to cry

I tell him to be less

but it’s too late my brother has
already pulled out his boning

look what happened to you 

he repeats it

he carves a fish-shaped hole
right into me

look what happened to you


From Rose Quartz by Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2023). Copyright © 2023 by Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions. milkweed.org