I had forgotten we made
cigarettes of honeysuckle twigs,
sucked smoke down through
the hollow pithy core.
I guess joining us older kids
for this transgression made it loom
much larger in your memory.
But I have no recollection
(no matter how much you insisted
it was true) of a time my brother
lost his shit and chased me
down the stairs where he
threw scissors at me, just as
the door slammed shut behind me.
One point drove deep into
the wood, you said, the other
swung loose. I guess, some things
will stick by chance, some won’t,
and some will turn to myths
about your neighbour-boys
and all their untamed wildness.
It’s the way of things: how
lovers, wars and crucifixions,
brothers’ bickerings and constellations
become the stories everybody knows.
It’s curious to have this slanted light
cast on my family. But it left me feeling
anxious to find myself mythologized.
And so I’ve been compulsively retracing
in my mind the memory of jumping,
running down the winding attic stair,
thinking of Cain and Abel and
the feeling of my cheek pressed to
the cool and sudden door, tight and
hard upon the bottom step.