when i was born,
you cried to our grandmother
because you wanted a brother
and got stuck with me, instead.
and what a turn of events that became.
when i was a baby,
i busted the back of your teeth out
with a bottle of perfume,
most likely contributing to your
repetitive dreams of your teeth falling out.
sometimes i think of this when you say your "th"s.
when i was a child,
you would pick peppers with our dad
down the street and hold eating competitions
while i squashed berries in my little tyke car.
we played mouse trap on the floor.
when i completed my first decade of life,
you packed your bags, got on a bus,
got married, and were deployed for the first time.
i don't remember much of those days.
i only remember the first phone call,
"yours truly, from iraq."
when i was eleven,
you came home, war torn and ragged
and divorced from an army wife
who was never really a wife at all.
you moved on, in some ways
more than others.
you were different, changed.
when i became a preteen,
i met a girl, and looked at our mom
and i said, "he's going to marry that girl."
and marry her, you did,
and had your first child, too.
when i was a teenager,
you taught me important life lessons
like how i act when i'm drunk
and how to do sake bombs like i belong in asia.
you taught me to eat with chopsticks.
through babysitting, i learned to wait to have a child.
and now, at twenty years old, everything is different.
living down the street from me, then in the old house,
and finally in our mom's house with me,
the dynamics changed.
we became the best friends we'd
always tried to be, but were too distant
to maintain. we gained trust and inside jokes.
you finally gave approval of my boyfriend.
we wreaked havoc and stayed up way too late.
but then you moved five hundred miles away,
and every day my heart feels ripped into pieces.
i miss all the jokes, and you waking me up
to our favorite songs.
i miss my brother. i miss my bubby.
i hope one day one of us will go home.