I Get the Fish Tattoo
Take a selfie, send it to my brothers who send
back pics of their kids half-naked in capes
& rubber boots, fearless wild dreams on jungle
gyms. They send pics of lurid sunsets, goats in tracksuits,
The Fonz on water skis since each of us
by now has surely jumped the shark. They text
of late-night trips to Taco Bell as good as psychotherapy,
& the Celts need to quit screwing around,
bring back Larry & his silver bullets. My older brother’s
plan is to find a Jackson Pollock at a yard sale.
In the meantime, he sweats into a savings account.
My younger brother says don’t worry, if a few ants
land in the salsa it’s no big deal. When I’m in pain,
I want everything. So we start a thread about our father,
the dirty jokes he loved, his rants about the Red
Sox & Hillary’s emails, apologies left unsaid. Reader,
here’s my problem—I want to meet my brothers
on a beach, drink beer, solve loneliness with jokes
& fire before time burns our signals to a blue oblivion.
Matthew Guenette is the author three poetry collections, including Vasectomania (2017) and American Busboy (2011), both from the University of Akron Press. He loses sleep in Madison, WI, where he lives with his family and a 20 pound cat named Butternut.