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Before the Vampires
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Story Notes:

Written circa 2009.
He missed the old days, before the vampires,
before the nights of flames and lights,
before the screech of dirt bike tires,
and sunglasses that hid his brother’s eyes.

He missed the drowsy warmth of Saturday—
cartoons and a quilt where cereal spilt,
and comic books with creased pages lay,
where Michael shared his jokes with him.

He missed the fights and slamming doors,
times when brothers screamed and Mom intervened
and apologies of peace were forced,
though their rage was seldom real.

He missed the heat of Michael’s sigh
when he’d lean in close and touch his nose
to Sam’s, then linger, eye to eye,
staring blue on blue till they lost their nerve.

He missed the arms that held him tight,
and the chest where he laid his head and prayed
every dizzying, daring, empty-house night
and hoped that Mom would never find them.

But now the warmth had left his skin,
and Michael’s breath, now free from Death,
fell cold on Little Brother’s chin,
and the prick of teeth replaced his kiss.

How he missed the old days then.

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