Stoned awake, the last email
my brother sent signed off,
“I woke to lightning strikes today.
There’s a sin storm about the land.”
Some bitter, easy urge–
redolent with breakdown, a frantic ignorance
sent him to a Douay Bible,
arcane modulations of drugging dosage.
“I drop acid in the clubs,” he said,
“to wander in wonder at the colors of cocktails.”
The family’s greedy baby, born for addiction,
he used charm’s airy gesture
to distance and disconnect.
He went along—dining out, rehab, service jobs
until death at 45, drunk to the day.
The obituary noted his bar name,
two surviving sisters in attendance.
I said good-bye 2 weeks earlier,
seeing him lean in sickness between two cars,
a cigarette cupped in a shaking hand.