for a righteous boy

it was just the other night…

I got a letter in the mail, it was electric
like your guitar
with those same distorted strings
made lovely by your hands.
(and although I cried at the end
I wasn’t ashamed);
it was a letter of celebration
and the message was for you,
for that righteous boy we oh so adore.

when I saw your picture your jacket
was leather
your hat brimmed and black
(like a punk rock Churchill
with a shiny silver lip)
and for once in my life
I didn’t mind my reflection
I remembered the nights when I
serenaded strangers; we wore the same
sweaty
clothes
while unknown divers surfed on a sea of
flailing hands.

but outside the leather
(and you may borrow mine at any time;
a special privilege for brothers only)
I know how it feels to walk with a soul
that isn’t asleep,
where the music is so beautiful
yet the water tastes so bitter,
to fly the same thin bird
peach and uncaged
so others might see our own frustrations
our sadness, our broken heart,
maybe free our tortured selves.

when you (and very unselfishly) took that
long summer nap
like old Darby
and our good friend Sid,
you did this in the month of my birth,
and so others won’t feel the same
melody of tears.

you see, I’m not that giving I guess.

but you, my righteous boy, drain black
swamps so others won’t drown; you give
what some may want (at times)
but we’re not yet needed upstairs with
the best of the best.

yes, this is true, you are that amazing.

so here I am
talking to a real-live angel, singing songs
you already know, but I can hear your guitar
and it still cries beautifully:
for Hope and Joelle and Thomas and Mama,
you are a protector of kin,
the paragon for lost souls with ripped clothing
and leather hearts
and we sadly (but graciously) adore your
unselfish sacrifice,
so we can stay and slay the demons;

and you, my righteous boy, in a strange
but lovely way have done just that.

I’m glad I got to know you this morning;
you would never judge me for crying;
I know you’d make me laugh instead

and that
my leather wearing brother
just might be my favorite part.

for Aaron r.i.p.

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