Question & Answer 1 – Jeff Alessandrelli

Question 1

Apparently I died some sixty
years ago. At least that’s what
my brother will have me believe.
I picture him awake oh
eight hundred hours. All six and a half
foot of him, desperately rehashing
my life. With his legs crossed
somewhere near his tits, he tries to fight
the sun in name only, humiliate the enemy
verbally. He has Nike pumps,
is playing for the away team. Hopes
that five dollars and three quarters
is enough to pay his way. I feel like phoning
him, telling him to go ahead
erase my history, kill my humanity,
I watched him walk into the world,
straight into an empty chamber. Blood isn’t thicker
than water, it’s just a different
colour. How do your family see you, Jeff?
Are you left behind by their rapture?
Or do you embark with them? I’ve seen
my brother’s comet streak
and I don’t wish to jump aboard.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

I live in an airless room,
a yearbook photo,
a sock puppet
blossoming with holes.
The room’s silence
is predictably suffocating,
full of judgment—
but it’s a pleasant stifling
one I’ve grown
used to. You can
pick your friends
but not your family
and this lack
I’ve made my own,
all my own.
I don’t want money
like my sister
or fame
like my brother
or glory
like my son—
I just want
to be whole.

– Jeff Alessandrelli