Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Boy Around Sisters

From Po:

Back on March 3rd, my post mentioned that the research on New Dads showed that a man today was less likely to be in the mold of these New Dads if he grew up with sisters. I theorized his sisters might be first to get roped into housework and caring of siblings.

My friend and fellow Grotto-dweller Victor Martinez was reading the blog, and sent along this delicious poem, which made me both laugh and cry. I just had to share it with you.

Victor, by the way, won the National Book Award in 1996 for his novel "Parrot In The Oven: Mi Vida." His book of poetry was "Caring For A House." This poem, Sisters, was first published a couple years ago in a lit mag called Oxygen.

Victor was raised between six sisters; three on one side, three on the other. "They pretty much spoiled me rotten," he said.


My sisters hate me for the shrine
our mother built around my laziness,
the kneeling altar they were forced to care for
and embellish with flowers.

Now they’re tired of my whining embrace, and want
nothing more than to fix my head
between the tumblers of their breasts and
squeeze me like the ripened pimple they say I am.

My sisters mouth a zero
for the faith they have in me. One scolds me,
and with a deadly look of milk, says, “You deserve
the earth to bury you
inside the same grave you’ve tried
to reduce me to.” Another claims there’s
never been any truth to my kingly words,
other than what a crown of shit, attracts.

Don’t mess with us now, brother, say my loving... loving
sisters. We will fly into you on the wings
of our knitting needles, unstitch you
in every seam. Lift one finger to have us
attend you, and we will scorch you back
to the dampened bed
of our mother’s small spittoon.


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