To My Brother, Far Far Away

by Maria Sledmere

You begin your technicolour love affair with the sun.

I’m sleeping through fire alarms, I dream of a Game Boy cartridge

which leads me to racetracks and ring-spilling pixels. 

Playing ‘Would You Rather’ with his tin can gravel, her silvery

alto reminds me of you. A song for her brother too; I guess

maybe he’s two years younger. The world’s a violence of striated lines

you’ve crisscrossed more times than I’ve felt

the fabric of my own breath crumple in nomadic sadness. 

It’s different, the haptic quality of the endless city; you can’t 

just crush the hidden curse, recursive space. I think of the Firth & Clyde canal

as an artery running away with our pasts, but stagnant—

perhaps fortuitously so. Bitter tequila stings the throat; 

I remember your distaste for intelligent techno. Nothing was ever

so fleeting or sweet, hating myself watching Made in Chelsea

to get back a sense of substanceless now. Pretending

you prefer French cinema; the difference is what, five hours

or so? I wonder why you cut your hair, over and over, slicing limes.

On the tracks walking back I feel less alone, but as ever

out there, your aeroplane trails through impossible zones. 

There’s no-one else I’ll speak to on the phone;

sometimes I think you’ll call to talk, talk about food or work or wine.

We share a rubble of youth, but you don’t care for sculptures

and besides, I can’t build much of a future like this.