I wish I could have met you.
I wish I could have held you in my feeble, three-year-old arms and felt the pure terror that I might break you.
I wish I knew how it felt to fill with pride at the sight of you, the way our brother did with me.
I wish I could have held your hand as you stumbled around the back yard,
Or helped mommy prepare your dinner.
I wish I could have given you my razor scooter, the silver one, with red wheels that our brother didn't have the patience to ride.
I wish I could have packed your lunch, and helped you with your homework.
I wanted so much to watch Star Wars with you and play Jedi until you were too tired to stand.
I wanted to tuck you in.
To kiss your head,
And say "good night, I love you."
I wanted to be embarrassed when you passed me in the hall, or bothered my friends.
I wanted to know you...
But I am so relieved that I didn't.
I am so relieved that your heart never started beating.
I am so relieved that you never grew fingers or toes.
I am so relieved that you left our mother in a bloody mess that stained old sheets.
I am so relieved that you never lived.
That you never had to lose everything.
That you didn't have your childhood ripped away from you the way that I had mine.
I am so glad you didn't have to hide in your room while mommy and daddy fought their fear away.
I am so glad you never had to stand idly by as the people you loved deteriorated and deteriorated until they disappeared all together.
I can breathe, because it never occurred to you that eating less would save money.
I can sleep, because you never lay in bed at night, wondering how much longer you'd have a bed.
I can live, because you never had to lose yourself so everyone else could live obliviously.
I am so relieved that you don't exist.
Because the life you would have had, would have ended when you were twelve.
It would have been taken in splattered blood and broken bones,
In a heap of screaming metal and rocky asphalt,
As your sky became ground and your ground became sky.
I am so relieved you aren't alive because your life would have been taken the same way mine almost was,
In all encompassing fear that is so potent it still shakes you awake at night three years later.
I am so glad you don't exist,
Because I still have nightmares that you do.