Fathering

How can this rage not explode? Her eyes
looking but not seeing, glued yet

wandering. She’s nowhere, she’s
everywhere, seeking refuge where

I don’t exist or where I
am dead or just a twig she feeds

to the flame, blue with her
wrath. She has mastered the contours of

my anger and I still grope along
the fence of her defense. Isn’t silence

sweet? Then why the muteness my voice
has summoned deafens me now?

Where is the shore of this howling
sea of reticence? How can a clever

plan fail? – trap her in a minor
encounter where even her faintest

meow is enough to unlock her
lies and the torrent of diatribes I have

long nurtured. But how can
I bear her empty stare? Her
frozen gaze that sets me ablaze?

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Grooming

estudyante (10)

As he writes his name, his nails grate
against the blackboard; the chalk crumbles
between his fingers. Every bit of dust heralds

he is the boss – the deity that decides what is
beautiful, what merits a nod, what deserves an ire,
what warrants a ridicule. He squeezes

out from every bran of his students’ brain
the knack of chasing shadows that took him
a lifetime to learn. He orders them to spin

a yarn in a minute and shows that in a slash of whip
he can dissect their hearts, beat by beat. Blitzing
their ears with diatribes, searing their souls

with his devouring eyes, he makes them
tremble and pee their pants. His is the only way
to become, so he hammers into their heads that

they flop to flap because their idols and
ideals are idiots; making him appears not only
to be the boss but also to be the best. He never stops

tutoring them how to twitter his words, not
until they master his style of dribbling. Then,
like cows off for butchery, he brands them

with a seal of excellence. All for having
perfected the techniques of making their tongues
glib and stink of his spittle.