Sunday, March 20, 2016

the testament

long before our father died, the four us had already received our inheritance
we wouldn't need to find a lawyer because one had been provided for
almost by coincidence

to me he left one share of his single-mindedness
one share of the passion that goes with it
one share of his violence
one share of his fighting spirit
and the faintest glimmer of his gift of gab

to our eldest he left one share of his drive
one share of his salesmanship
the full share of his insecurities
and one share of his instinct to survive

to our younger sister
he left one share of his violence,
the full share of his madness,
and more of his rage than all four of us combined could ever have contained

and to you, my brother,
our advocate and the self-appointed manager of his estate
he left one share of his salesmanship
the full share of his craftiness
the full share of his miserliness,
the meanness of spirit by which to appropriate all four shares of his means
the full share of the cognitive dissonance required to maintain a self-righteous disposition
and its complementary share of judgemental hypocrisy
one share of his isolation
and the full share of his capacity to transform family into strangers

dear brother
you are a vulture who literally left his own mother to rot
but though you wear our peacock feathers that you plucked
you know
just as we see
that they will never fit

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