Hermanito

I wonder how you are doing.

That part is easy, it could be a feeling of self satisfaction, wondering how you are. Where you are. If you are in the streets again or have a roof over your head.

But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt just the same. The wondering, the not knowing, The wondering if you know that I care and that I want to help. Truly help. Not like yesterday.

Because I still swallow the bile in my throat every time I remember coming to see you after you asked for twenty bucks. Groceries in tow, things I knew would not go bad. Because I’ve been there. Without refrigeration, squatting under a roof and four walls but no assurance for tomorrow. Gathering the bread, staples, things I hoped would last. Things I hoped would keep you alive, all the time wishing you’d come with me. Sweet brother of mine.

I love you.

And yet I’m too much of a coward to really wonder where you are. Because every time I see a statistic on the LA Times I wonder.

Is it you?

I devour the description, the tattoos, looking to see if they cover the beautiful surface of your face.

Your eyes, so kind. Those gorgeous almond-shaped eyes that haunt me every day. Those eyes that haven’t changed since you were two years old. I have loved you. Always, and yet, I know nothing of where you are and how you are.

And none of it should be your fault hermanito, and yet it seems only you pay for it all but we all pay. Over and over again I would pay, to have you safe. And those you love.

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