Fiction: David Tomaloff’s “The Brother Pact”

On this day we find a brother. This brother is a brother in a bathtub quietly bathing. An unlocked door on the second story & a window open to the smell of a father pressing cheap cuts into a charred black grill. We find also on this day this brother’s brother. A one-boy militia, this brother, barrels in with his boyfist drawn, knuckles breaking water to find their mark on unsuspecting brother parts as they lay beneath its surface, completely submerged. Brother cries out in both pain &startled anger. Brother is a brother now beside himself. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON UP THERE? yells Father. But between brothers, there is a brother pact. Brothers, best of all, they know of this. Brother answers, unsure of himself, but certain of this brother pact, &he shouts back to the father, this brother, he says, THE WATER. IT’S SO COLD! &now the father is a father who is angry. His angry father voice, a voice booming in through the window, it says to us, I’LL COME UP THERE & I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING COLD ALL RIGHT. &these brothers, they are certain that he will. Brother eyes meet through a thick &knowing silence. Brother mouths never speak it, but between brothers there is a brother pact, even in times of war. &brothers, best of all, they know of this.

***

David Tomaloff is a very important something. His work has appeared in several chapbooks, anthologies, and in fine publications such as Connotation Press, Sundog Lit, Lost in Thought, A­Minor, and HTML Giant. He is co­author of the collaborative poetry collection You Are Jaguar (Artistically Declined Press, 2012), and he has recently finished work on another collaborative effort, this time with J. Scott Bugher, titled Ledger & String. His latest chapbook, Sleep, is on Plain Wrap Press. His silence can be bought. Reasonable offers accepted: davidtomaloff.com.

Photo credit: businessplans, morguefile.com

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