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When my older brother slid Green Day CDs into CD tower slits, he sang along. He sang a lot. My brother was always on stage. I listened to him run lines from his room along with a recording of All My Sons. You don’t realize how much people can hate—they hate so much they’ll tear the world to pieces. These days, there’s a lot of sentimental interpretation about the practice of kintsugi. The art of making meaning from broken pieces. Hardly inspirational. I feel I could also make meaning if my pockets were heavy with gold. It’s beauty that makes it beautiful. My brother is a broken thing. My pockets carry nothing. As a child he was burst to pieces by a shotgun carried by a desperate man. He survived, though bits of lead remain in his chest. Some things, so dangerously close to the heart, may never be extracted. Who would break a singing thing? That was not the last time a man would break my brother. In the play, my brother played the father. On opening night, my brother slept in the car. My father locked him out of the house. He was late from the cast celebration at a pancake house. I was too small for pockets. In the morning, there was no singing. I did not say to him I love you. I did not know I love you was the gold. If you break a singing thing, it’s a reverse alchemy. I would make a make a gun from gold and shoot my father if it would make the pieces of my brother slide back together like CDs into a tower. Once, I had gold—a bracelet from my grandmother that I sold for heroin. Once, my brother killed a ladybug because his son said it was pretty. Once, my brother told me, no one could love you, you’re insane. My brother, the star, with a heart turned to lead. Once in a while, my brother still sings. God does not let a son be killed by a father. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Sara Afshar is a poet from Massachusetts living in Ypsilanti, Michigan where she represents Afghan evacuees in immigration proceedings and grows cut flowers. She is from a family of Iranian-Kashmiri refugees. Sara has an MFA from the University of Michigan.

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