We Were All Naked – by Charles Rammelkamp

“My brother’s been gone eight months
and I still ain’t come to terms,”
the man comforted his friend
who had just lost his sister,
“especially when I see his kids.
Five sons and they all look just like him.”

I wanted to inject myself
into their conversation,
wallow in mutual consolation,
telling about my twin brother
with stage four lung cancer,
our father dead twenty years,
brother ten, mother two,
their loss still felt,
we the last of the family.

But I knew they didn’t want
some stranger interrupting them.
So I kept my mouth shut,
just listened to the bird warble
of their mutual solace.

We were all naked
in the locker room at the gym.
I was just going to the showers.
They were just getting dressed.

Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore and Reviews Editor for The Adirondack Review. A chapbook of poems, Jack Tar’s Lady Parts, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing. Another poetry chapbook, Me and Sal Paradise, was recently published by FutureCycle Press. An e-chapbook has also recently been published online, Time is on My Side (yes it is). Another chapbook, Mortal Coil, is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing.

Painting: “Hidden in Fears”
Artist: Henry L. Jones
2019 – 16×20 inches – mixed media on canvas