Two Brothers

They couldn’t stop the wind blowing through them
so there was no point standing there expecting
they’d protect you from getting blown away.
And since the farm house by the little creek traveled
back in time, a stink of bison breath, echoes
of carrier pigeons cooing softly in the attic,
when it returned from its journeys, which lasted
about as long as a shimmer on a beetle wing,
it was of no practical use. The brothers slept
in the same bed, holding on, since their dreams
exceeded the speed of light whenever the house
reveled in its past lives, shamans, usually.
And the barn, even without its psychotic episodes,
was totally unreliable, straw would end up floating
slowly under the maple leaves except in winter
when the barn piled it up around its foundations.
The brothers didn’t work too much, a waste of energy,
and the grocer from town brought them food,
it was much safer that way, cheaper, given the cost
the town suffered when they walked down the street
and smiled, such friendly other worldly smiles,
windows breaking, Christmas arriving in mid-July,
rain gutters clogged with accurate prophecies.
No one knew how old the brothers were. A horse
small as a dog that ran in circles around the well,
still terrified by mammoths bellowing at night.
Cars would rarely pull into the driveway
and the people who got out were offered cookies
but they didn’t linger and there’d be dried ears
of ancient corncobs in the trunk when they got home.
All the other farms along that road were quite tame.

—Glenn Halak, Albuquerque, NM