Poem of the Month


The Complete Story
 
If you would know the whole,
come sup with the Shikkar,
that drunkard who listens
absent-mindedly
while pouring a white or red
into an endless cup.
We were told he fell from a tree.
 
Rather, he was playing
with his twin brother
who tripped him. Sprawled
on tiles in the vestibule
he told his father
my arm is broken.
It is not broken, his father said.
 
A bone transplant required,
an infection undergone,
a trip to Caracas. The order
doesn’t matter so much
as the fact that he did not fall
from a tree. 
Each relative must re-learn
 
gravity anew,
fill their thoughts with a boy
who suffered for a year
due to a filthy needle
and a father who did not believe.
If you would be satisfied
to forgive his Latin rages,
 
imagine a gangrene of the mind—
rage equal to that of the bull
when it charges the matador
who holds a carmine rag
and goads
the inevitable climax
from a bit of straw and a knife.