Kid Brother Dropout

By Kevin Ridgeway

I wanted to be just like my older brother;
tired of being known as just Sean’s kid brother,
so I wanted to be his equal or surpass him.
I auditioned for the same role he won awards
for my senior year but I lost the role to a friend.
And I was passed over by my brother’s college,
an inferior little man in the shadows of the great one
I must bow to but instead I rebelled and became
a bearded freak in the green mountains of Vermont,
doing drugs and fueling my damaged little ego
with a new frontier of possibilities big brother
could never dream of after a slight bit
of chemical brain damage freed me of the need
to compare myself to him or want to kick him
in the eye with my cowboy boots wrestling him
on the living room carpet back in 1984
when I fought dirty and tried to bite his dick off,
still fighting dirty to this day in order to overcome
my lack of an identity after years of not knowing
who to be as the youngest in a family
of worldwide superstars.

Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press). His work has recently appeared in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, The American Journal of Poetry, The Cape Rock, Trailer Park Quarterly and So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.  

Painting by Brianna Keeper

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