I had no idea that the gate I would step through to finally enter this world would be the space my brother’s body made. He was a little taller than me: a young man but grown, himself by then, done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet, rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the cold and running water. This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me. And I’d say, What? And he’d say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich. And I’d say, What? And he’d say, This, sort of looking around.
Reprinted from “What the Living Do” by Marie Howe. Copyright © 1998 by Marie Howe. Used with the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.