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My Little Brother Is An Alien

It's a piece of grit stuck in my teeth.
His soft voice saying
hello hello hello.

I say hello: he says hello.
The word is a space probe searching
dirt for life.

I say stop: he says hello.
English is a foreign language.
I speak to him

in the language native to all living things.
I pinch him.
Hoping for the moment Helen Keller's fingertips

knew water and the meaning of water
tied together with the thread of language.
Someone has cut that thread in my brother's mind.

Pinch and the meaning of pinch
whirl around like a storm.
Pain is a life saver out of nowhere.

Soon we are conversing fluently.
Returning pinch for pinch.
Pounding each other's heads

into the ground.
I am reaching him.
Pain means something to both of us.


You have my breasts
in your hands
when I hear you say the magic words.

I couldn't help myself. You're just
so sexy / you made me

do this. The words mean nothing
extra to you, but a bullet goes off
in my brain.
I stop moving and see my breasts,
two pale pools of garbage.

And later, your doe eyes
wet, you ask me:

Why didn't you use your words?

and I can say nothing
because I have no words
to say it's not your fault, it wasn't your bullet.
Can only nuzzle you like some shy deer,
can only murmur I love you I love you

and loving you— hold out
for some cloud to lift.


Copyright © 2011 Jamie Gersh

Jamie Gersh is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in creative writing and Japanese language. She was raised in Hattiesburg, MS. You can find more of her work in Lung Poetry, Gutter Eloquence Magazine, and The Camel Saloon.