Big Brother Necklace


You could’ve left me in the drawer
weighed down with wooden wolves and carved peace
signs
you could’ve let me lay by the bedside
my strings frayed
untying myself because I don’t know better
but you cut off my edges
tied a slipnot
and threaded your head through me
cause you feel naked now
without a noose round your neck
without me bumping against your collarbone like a
hammer on a rusty nail
You don’t take me off
except to shower and sleep
the 2 times when you’re not being a big brother
when you’re not drawn tight like piano wire
ready to hop on a bus at a phone call
with words made of thistledown
or fists made of wood
your teeth loaded
with buckshot or cottonballs
and you a shot or two or five cause you’ve got me round
your neck
cause you want a time where you aren’t worried
cause you want to be able to get a teary-eyed phone call
without seeing Katie’s grave in Technicolor
or hearing Ronnie
choking on anti-depressants
and for a few hours
you can’t answer your phone
you can’t run out the door and onto the 38
you can’t even be the life-sized teddy bear they need
and it’s bliss
that no-worries tunnel vision
but then you wake up with a hangover sitting on the
coffee table
and you run to the bathroom
and puke 7 times
you can still feel me tight on your neck
keeping time with your ragged heavy-eye breath
and you check your phone
for any missed calls


–Jules Cunningha
m

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