Tuesday, April 10, 2012
My Brother's Honor
For my brother, Jamin. On his birthday.
Championship. Sacramento. I’m here, white elbows on white
tablecloth, while a Japanese grandmother sings on stage -
a pink paper rose pinned to her lapel, wilted. She moves
in tiny circles, afraid to take up too much light. Her voice
is congested, low. Okinawa kenjin kai. I am waiting
for my black-belted younger brother to receive his honor
from his seventy-four year old teacher, mentor, hero. Before,
in East Side Oakland, we were taught how to street fight
by ghosts. I pass on the sushi buffet, eat my potato salad
offending with a fork, brought from my mother's kitchen.
I smile when I see a Japanese girl with a similar rebellious
grin roller-skate through the lodge, gliding by her older
brother who offers a fast hand for balance, high-fives, a quick
hug. Her arms slip soft around his neck. No one can see
their future. But, they know it’s wicked and bright, just like me
and my brother were the only ones
who could ever see ours.
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