By Jinhao Xie

in my dream. I hold hands with my brother.
we are both boys: he looks at
me through his thick lashes. a squint.
three years of time travel, between him and me.

we are blue boys. he looks like
my future, and I am his past.
three years. time holds us together
in summer and it’s always summer in my dream.

my future and his past are nothing but
a smudge. his free from worry glint
of summer. always summer when I dream of him.
we laugh. we blow up cowpat in dad’s village. a punch:

a smudge is his free from worry glint
as if graphite glides past his cheeks.
look! how our laughter blooms, in dad’s punch.
I stand by him, hold on to his soft hand.

graphite draws wind blowing past our cheeks.
I look at him—through our thick lashes—
our shoulders barely touch, tiny hand in tiny hand.
and there it is, where my brother’s stubborn heart beats.

I look through him, behind his thick curtains of lashes.
we are both boys for once: looking ahead.
his stubborn heart laughs with mine. so loud. I wake up.
and there! my brother is the moon: watching over me.

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