Keith Aaron Munro

A Poem For My Brother

I thought for whatever verdant idolatry
there were in the night its gifts of sorrow
that somehow I could disappear into the past
as if you were no more than the brother I followed into the trees
chasing after the apparitions of tomorrow
to discover in their passive shadows that opium of dreams,
but to love is not to escape disappointment,
only to express in the things that lay over our shoulders like a cross
the enchanted music that breathes into the air
the misunderstood lessons of our youth.

I still love you, forever,
as for me, you are standing against the gates of evil
with the hawk like gaze of centuries drifting over the earth
with whatever will to live causes you to look after the animals,
the flowers and the rivers that speak to the wind
the philosophy that illustrates the poetry of their souls
where they rest beneath the stars
and give to you the passion in your eyes.

Of course there is nothing to fall back on but those empty trails
where we walked and talked about “The Wind And The Willows”
and I thought that there was no peace but when words cease to matter
and the very air is like a woman’s womb,
breading out of the earth the suffering
that lends unto the mind its empathy
so that all there was to do was love you
to chase monsters while you carried me on your back
so that I believed bones were a bed
where worms crafted in their mute speech
the poetry of our youth.

It is enough.


How long can I stand still
until I lay back against the sun and talk to you of opium and alcohol
as you take the piece they gave you and put it under your tongue
so as the rest of the drug addicts shift back and forth on their hips
and smoke cigarettes
prose turns to poetry
and young men learn to die
as they watch you through the wild forests of Greece
and write to Dianna
their dreams that she make them innocent
as they starve on the speech with which she speaks to the stones in a river bed
with the psychology she uses to comb your long black hair
with the suffering of some idle apparition?

I knew I’d never be with you in bed
but all the same as we passed the time together our bodies drained dry of chemicals
I came to see faith as a kind of cancer
against which the cynical Olympia of your chest
when you leaned across the table
became the bone upon which angels built an empire
with her populace a community of tears.

One could make the argument that we came here to grieve
as if to say I love you is not enough
but to get clean one must say good bye to the breathless immaturity
in which dreams will wither to paint out of the civilized world her sea of malevolent idols
and it is with us,
you standing there with your eyes like doorways into the jungles of south America
or wherever you come from
that I don’t know except to say that I’m sorry
but I’m too old to see you as you are,
and I’m starting to feel as old as winter though it was summer then
and I’m still just forty one but I saw then and still see now when I remember
as you smiled
the paradox where death becomes the passion of your youth,
the despair of acceptance when your arms were like a coffin
holding me tight
as if the hours we had yet to waste after we said good bye
were terrible as mountains.

Keith Aaron Munroe was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He has spent most of his life trying to be a writer. In the past he took care of horses for a living.