Dear Little Boy,
In 2012 you threw up on me while I was sleeping.
I never forgave you because I suspected it was on purpose.
I’m writing to tell you I forgive you now.
In 2012 I was only seven
and I didn’t know how much I’d need you,
even though by then you were already sick.
You were so mean to people,
you used to bite my friends and leave shit
outside our neighbor’s doors. Why
did you want to sleep with me?
I wasn’t so nice to you.
After you threw up on me
I locked you out of my room.
Mom and Dad say when I was young
I would always pull your hair. I thought it was funny.
They’d run to pull us apart–
you’ve taken out eyes for a lot less.
But you’d only push my hand away
and lie with me until we fell asleep.
One time when I was 12
Dad filmed you fighting a raccoon.
I got mad at you for fighting it
and mad at him for not stopping you.
He said it was fine because you were winning. He showed me the video.
I saw that you were so frail already, skin hanging loose from your bones.
Dad saw that you left the battle without a scratch.
I didn’t let you outside for two full weeks.
at your funeral,
Dad told me the raccoon had been trying to steal our chicken’s eggs.
Little Boy, add this story to the list of things I’m sorry about.
I remember when you lost your sight.
The doctors said you could only see outlines of shapes
and blurry colors.
After, Mom bought you that stuffed banana
on a whim.
You kept it with you all the time.
You couldn’t see anything,
but you could see the banana,
with its bright yellow and its big smooth edges.
You slept with it tight in your arms
until it was gray and limp.
You screamed when Mom took it from you
to put it in the wash.
When your banana went missing
your screaming didn’t stop for days.
In 2018 you found me
in my room standing at the window.
It was 3 am.
I was trying to get my other foot over my sill.
You screamed and screamed and you woke everyone up.
They made me get down, made me go to therapy.
They wouldn’t let me chop vegetables or shave my legs.
I never stopped blaming you, Little Boy.
After you died I only cried twice,
once when I learned the news and a second time yesterday
when I found your banana,
hidden in the back of my sock drawer
from all of those years ago.
We buried you this weekend
in the garden by the house.
Mom thought you’d like the blooming hearts.
She says you’re in heaven.
Everyone else thinks you’re in hell.
I’ve never believed in heaven,
but I hope it has lots of banana trees.