by Delaney Nolan
When my brother rapes the girl,
they are on a bed.
When my mother tells me,
she is eating Spanish mussels,
knifing the animal from shell to throat.
When my father flies to Carolina
they all go together to the courthouse, neatly.
A tie. A doctor.
When the girl calls her mother, she says
I am never coming back
I am in another country not meeting the eyes of
men when my brother
was a child he
took the dog’s front paws, dancing,
When the girl’s mother answers the phone she
I don’t know when
the news crew is on the lawn my mother is
on the lawn,
crossing the live green lawn saying go-a-way,
when that voice, when
they don’t tell you they
don’t tell you when they don’t
When he got her to Charlotte he
Our mother pays his bail.
Lonely as a child, la, thirteen the girl is
in photographs the
a girl she got in his car she wants doesn’t want
a grasping of hands, when I was a girl my
brother looked through a telescope saw
soft planets, the distance of time,
a hot scab of star
When I have a little girl,
my brother will be