At the Miracle my young brother
saw death for the first time
in a shark called Bruce, Jaws swallowing
the onscreen boy on the raft in a chum wave
that rippled from the light, a death
that drenched every body in the shock
of a nature devouring everything it sees;
in an illusion real enough
to offend sight and bowel,
an odorama that forced my brother
to take my hand and escort him
to the bathroom since
he was too scared to pee alone.
I never told my mother, too embarrassed,
fearing her death stare, not wanting to
ruin her life of its last bright hope.
I just cut it into my trailer
until another screen, screening
protruded an alien from mid body,
sending him to the lobby to check himself,
so disgusted that he stopped masturbating
alone in the lightly dark room
of which I can see into like a glass coffin.
I thought I knew everything about him:
Had I killed his innocence again, I thought,
populated it with sharks and aliens?
Or had I innocently freed him of them?
All I knew is that I could never get him
to go to another horror movie again,
his trundled mind now occupied with
ballet— and Disney World— and cars.
He loved Fords. Hated Chevrolets.
And had all four of us stuck in the backseat
of a 1973 Chrysler station wagon;
himself, in a Ford mood, happily
existing in the middle of this
Carousel of Progress pretending movement
to a bright, big, beautiful tomorrow;
the happiest place on earth.
My mother died on a Chevrolet day,
while he planned the next Disney adventure,
September 18, 1987; the day of Fatal Attraction.
Between the trailers and the point
when the bunny boiled in the pot
something savage attacked her heart.
I don’t know what it was.
Maybe it was the shark
or just time for him to let her go?
The joke of life exists in the fact
that Bruce comes for us all;
the trailers run, the feature plays,
the credits roll— and we die on Chevrolet days.
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