my brother never calls

my brother never calls
but he has left a voicemail

my stomach shrinks into a tiny knot (!) of nerves

someone must have died
mom, dad, sister, nephew?
i run through the options,
tasting the misery of each unique loss

my brother never calls

my arms are empty
and heavy with grief i have not named yet

i hold my breath
the air in my gut calcifies in fear
my finger hovers over the arrow on my iPhone
until gravity forces it to press play

my brother never calls

he just wanted to say
he was thinking about me.

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