When we are alone, I take his skin between thumb and forefinger, hold and let go. He does not notice. The peak remains, like a wrinkle in bed sheets.
In the next room he lies swamped by the duvet. His steady eyes set in a quivering head, stare out the doorway. My mum and brother are on either side of him, and they’re having a hushed discussion without saying the word.
In silence, he is carried out to the car. Those of us who remain stand on the pavement as they pull away. We do not wave goodbye.
I blink into cupped hands of water to dissolve salt deposits around my eyes, then rub with a towel and think ‘is this the moment…
is this the moment…?’ where my brother supports the little, hollow body in his cupped hands, so a proper vein can be found.
The little, hollow body is all that remains, and we continue.