What My Fathers Taught Me
Take all secrets
to the grave – or beyond. How to
tie a shoe, wear a smile,
a mask. How to say
Can’t or No. How
to make a fist, a joke,
a baby. Hold back tears.
When to leave.
Come home sullen, exhausted, short-tempered. Eat.
Watch TV. Say nothing. Fall asleep. Repeat
the same tomorrow. And the next day and the next. Call it love.
What My Fathers Taught Me is from 10 Tongues (Three Conditions Press, 2002).