ONE THING TO ANOTHER

When I was younger, there wasn't enough iron in my blood. I drank it out of a medicine bottle, and I breathed with a machine in the kitchen. I sit at the table and I ask Mom how much time is left using only vowels and H's. The refrigerator clicks on, hums for a while, and stops. My breathing has a harmony inside.

My brother Ari dances in the yellow light of the kitchen. There's nothing from outside in here. He has my mom's straight black hair. I don't look like anybody yet. I'm still growing out of my dad and into my mom and the hair is still blond on my head and my arms. Everyone in the world has a pony tail except for me. I am the only person breathing. She watches me breathe, and I see, now that I've seen something break, that she is looking for cracks. She has her hands flat on the table. They're just as good there until breakfast tomorrow. I have a venus fly trap in the window above the sink. Mom can't do a thing.

Ari dances in the yellow light because I'll laugh, he's a rodeo clown, and I'm everybody else. Mom tells him to stop because she knows he can make me laugh until something bad happens. She has seen me vomit over a dinner plate and start laughing again. He stops. Mom goes back to listening and watching me breathe, like diagnosing a car. The blue jays that come to the house are Sparky and Starbuck. Dad names the dogs, Meatloaf, Moose, and Leo the late bloomer. Ari is a lion. I am Remembering God for His Gift. I was hard to come by. We haggled over the price of iron. Now, I assume my blood, a reinforced alloy, and my curly hair.