Judd McCullum CC
The Big Nothing
The world killed him
My brother, that is.
Heroin will be made the cause.
Cowards, liars, hypocrites.
Failed school. Stupid. Inattentive.
Worked from fifteen, moving lumber,
Living in a trailer sitting on blocks,
Wood for windows, a cooler for a refrigerator.
Sitting on a milk crate, he’d smoke and flick the butts at
a tree trunk or aim them at a KFC bucket holding rain water
from an ancient rain.
As easily as his parents
Lost him, heroin found him.
In his twenty-three years, he never knew a moment’s happiness.
Our parents Our parents
Turned away from him
To embrace me.
To hold me.
Who was I? Smaller, younger, taught to smile, taught to
I would see him once or twice a month. He lived in PA most of the time,
Just over the border.
I would spot him a fifty. For food. Or beer. Or cigarettes. Or rent.
I knew what for, really.
The world killed him, my brother.
My mother said it was “merciful,” his death.
My father said he never had a chance. Broken from the beginning.
I, too, am dead, now. Those arrows went through both of us.
Once, when I popped him a few twenties, he gripped my hand.
God forgive me for ever letting go.
T.A. Young's poetry appeared in the October 2018 issue of Anti-Heroin Chic. He lives and works in New York City.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.