I once had a brother, though only I
Remember him. We shared a room, almost
Shared a soul even. Now both feel cripplingly
Empty in his absence. A part of me stolen
Away with not even a trace left in its wake.
The incidents were always at 3 in the
Morning. It began innocently enough -
Whimpers, whines, and tossing around from
His side of the room only half waking me -
But it escalated bit by bit, like a rollercoaster,
Until that final stomach-wrenching drop.
I began to wake more fully - an inner knowledge
Or warning nudging me to a steadily rising
Alertness that he was slipping farther from reality -
To find him sitting upright in bed, staring at
The wall. I didn't see what he saw until the final night.
This night, I woke in a feverish sweat and immediately
Looked to his bed. He sat bolt upright, back to me, staring
Where the wall should have been but where it seemed
To have melted away. The night loomed in front of
Our eyes, the moon a beacon to the squawking seagulls.
This night, he would not answer to his name repeated
On my lips. As I got up to ease him back to his pillow,
He let out a single squawk and began to shrink. Feathers
sprouted from his pores and his feet grew webbed until
A seagull sat in my brother's place. It did not even look
Back to me, but unfurled its wings and took off after
The others, over the sea, to follow the moon.