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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kay Kelly

Brother on the Bridge, at The Telluride Institute

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

A semi finalist for the Fischer Prize, 2019

Brother on the Bridge upon hearing Striven, by Jeffrey Pethybridge, whose brother jumped from the Golden Gate

Your glasses are useless

toward the Pacific,

salted, inside, by your wrung-out ducts,

and by gusts of spray.

The bridge is cold to hold onto,

where your brother didn’t transit

but transected, at mid-point,

with the traffic behind him,

and the lane-dashes, like slaps.

He couldn’t bear the span.

And rain always pangs

the hunger of the bay.

Face struck with water

so thirsty, it stings,

you hear the traffic sounds

he heard,

and the waves,

the bitchy gulls,

the moaning of cables

in wind.

Hum with them, a zither for a brother’s hymn.

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