Maria Giesbrecht

for my brother, the one who doesn't know
how to say I love you

he builds a whole deck for his girlfriend, a patio table from mere
wood scraps, says it's nothing / puts three stray kittens 
in our weathered

pink wheelbarrow with the flat tire, gives them a ride for hours / says
it's nothing 

my brother, zip-ties my bumper back onto my shitty ford focus
after I tried ripping donuts for the first time in a 
Walmart parking lot / buys my first car with

then my second,

then my third / calls the insurance for me, tells me it's
okay that my father won't / tells me fuck him, shows me 
fuck him 

my brother, the one who doesn't know how to say I love you, 
this is for you / it isn't much, but
it's not nothing

rotisserie chicken

he taught me practical things / like how to cut a rotisserie chicken down the middle, crack the breastbone with one strong whack of the knife / how to separate the meat from the bones / to save the wings, the best, for last / how to catch your breath when you're falling too fucking fast

he taught me how to chop a piece of wood with gnarly knots, carefully whittling around the mess / how to use my legs to swing, not my arms / how to use common sense, not love

two days after he left, I caught my breath, bent my legs, and wielded the ax dead straight into my breastbone / I have no answer when they ask me why I've been doing this for six months / it turns out underneath a breastbone, there is no common sense

Maria Giesbrecht is a poet residing in Toronto, Canada. Her work has been published in Contemporary Verse 2, The Sunshine Review, Imposter Journal, the York Journal, and more. When she's not trying to craft an immaculate metaphor, she enjoys sipping tequila by the lake.
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