Oxygen

By: Lauren Spagnoletti

He inches into the room. He would disappear if he could. He grabs his brother like a shield, holding his hand tight, and kissing his head. Little brother is game, welcoming affection from his hero.

Others see unadulterated brotherly love. But I see us brimming from within him. We do the same at parties, clinging to familiar faces like oxygen masks.

Being alone would not be lonely.

He finds a toy and retreats to a corner. He relaxes.

I ache for him. I can’t fix it.

I watch, and wait for him to come to me to fill the void.

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