Alex Dupree

brother marcus

In the late hours of the canyon, doing the late chores,
Brother Marcus found me sleeping crosswise
on the gravel road. He mistook me for a friend,
which I later became, and cried out Seth! Seth!
Oh my God! biting a penlight in his teeth
to feel my jawbone for a pulse. This is the world
I woke to: a light speaking names, and two cold
fingers on my neck. I knew Seth. He was the one
who told me I could stay here if I ever needed.
All the monks adored him, as I quickly learned.
They snuck into my room at night to tell me stories
of how he broke the pinto horse and the time he
drove them into Santa Fe for sushi. They had a lot
to say for men who’d taken vows of silence.
And Marcus, every time we passed each other,
even where the abbot could’ve heard, he’d slap my
shoulder and remind me loudly: Ha! I thought
you were Seth! I thought you were dead!