Image by Eddie & Carolina Stigson


the madrigal, volume iii.v

Baby Brother and I

by clem flowers

My younger brother and I had developed the sort of venom that only comes from years of siblings

living in close quarters

Surely didn't help he got into the Grateful Dead, weed, & being cool & confidence as I got into 90s
indie rock, drinking heavy, kissing dudes, and wearing dresses and women's jeans as I tried to hide my

face behind my beard.

Once I moved to my punk-dirtbomb-skateboarder-self out and up in the heady lights of the big smoke
on the desert mountain, the love started to defrost and come back to the forefront between us

Miles and miles of acreage between us helped heal a lot of wounds I was certain would be there for


We gave genuine hugs when my now- wife and I picked him and his now- wife up at the airport; they'd
made the pilgrimage out to the desert for our wedding, and we were delighted to have him.

A bit of a rough takeoff in their relationship (vaping weed in her car, and loud talking at first)
eventually gave way to a genuine fondness; more the dynamic you expect of in-laws on Leave it to

Beaver, rather than The Simpsons.

Then came my bachelor party.

Bombed out our skulls on too many cheep beers, we're the only ones left conscious in a dingy motel

room, watching Aqua Teen Hunger ForceFuturama.

I looked over at him , just enjoying the moment.

He burped and said:

"Wee should walk an get sum food."

"Capital idea, my dear sibling."

I then pounded the beer in my hand & we stumbled outside, paying no attention to the cops having
conversations with the working girls out in the parking lot & the pool where we were certain at least 5

people had died.

Then we made it to the McDonald's across the street.

The surly 20- something was actually quite sweet when we said it was for my bachelor party - gave us a

20 piece of nugs on the house.

Then we staggered back & collapsed onto the beds with our deep fried delights.

We gorged like the Roman Senate just before they plunged the blades into Caesar.

As he went to a drunken sleep, he muttered something I hadn't heard him say in over a decade:

"I love you, man."

I wept as someone was brutally slaughtered on Metalocalypse.

It made the hangover as I was getting my tie on the next day worth it.

Clem Flowers (They/ Them) is a poet, eldritch horror,  & soft spoken southern transplant living in a mountain's shadow in Utah. In an eternal quest to be the host in constant disbelief in an infomercial. Nb, bi, and queer as the day is long, they live in a cozy apartment with their wonderful wife & sweet calico kitty. Found on Twitter @clem_flowers