Envy him
who's dead was
what the Romans

said. Pretty cold,
and manly—almost like
they didn't know

they were plagiarizing
the Greeks, again—
but still. Burly,

and slightly
deranged, the way the Romans
like their

And believe me,
I never

envied my brother,
even now
he's dead though

this raccoon-like
scrabbling through
his clothes, washing

and re-washing
the wan
body, then numbering

the relics
is a bit
much, I know.


But I only want
to know him,
the parts

cut away
in me that grew
in him, maybe

more manly, almost
Roman. About the picture
that emerges

of our father, poor
guy? A suburban
jefe but

Jim I think
loved him, well, at least
through puberty

and I suppose I did, that
much, too. Jim
never put our

father down,
even as he shrinks
in what is now

euphemistically called
real time, though
it would be nice

to think his vices
at the same rate,

in that sense of

is rumored to have,
I see
father's sins dry

as sugar, dried
into veins
of fossilized wishes

some fantasy
of doing right
by us. Well.

I still hope
for mercy and one day
he may be forgiven,

maybe by one
of the statues he loved
so much,

some Irish saint, the patron
of rage, omelets,
gimlets and

maybe insurance.