A Mosaic Of Problems That Are Someone Else’s Fault


Once when I was driving, I rear ended a priest going 80 mph on the expressway at 4 a.m.
We were on the lane far out to the right, and upon impact we swerved six lanes doing donuts
until we banged against the concrete divider wall to the left.
I don’t remember much after that, there was a cop, then blackness, then my mother came, and
then blackness, and then she kept threatening the cop, yelling, “If you take him I’ll
fucking commit suicide!”
and then blackness, and then I was home.
Not much was said about what happened—I had some money,
I was my own man.

“Be a man”
was the only lesson I was told since I was 4 years old.
I remember finding various pictures of other women in the same place my father keeps his
money.
He never held a picture of the woman with bulging eyes, maíz skin, and his last name. Maybe that’s why he left.
And then I became the man, I had an obligated duty, because of my testicles, to be the man of
the home.
As the man, my shaky mother would have to wake me at night. She would tell me to “Not cry, be
strong,” as she volunteered for death.

There are many reasons why a person wants to commit suicide.
It may be seeing the sullen eyes of your baby boy, reeking of alcohol, yelling that you “created
this man.”
It could be an empty home
filled with debt and painful memories of poverty that ask “what do you do it for?”,
after you given everything you had, the roaches of the past fill the darkest parts of your house,
they scurry around the walls—it’s all you have left.
It could be working a whole life time and still having no money.

Something you really need in life is easy money.
The Japanese men who make good money but work too many hours, so they shuffle their
feet toward a window at their job and drop to their end:
good money that isn’t easy. Think of all the jobs the social Left
try to make aware of, the online escort who fills her lips with needle of hyaluronic acid so
they plump up and feel like stale bread for a man
who gives her 600 dollars for an hour, or the Shudras in India who shovel shit all day wearing
flip-flops, shorts, and t-shirts with the coca-cola logo. A life destined before
they were even born. Jobs that leave a mind and body, the temple of being, feeling like
everyone else’s home.

La calle, being a person of “pachanga”, that is what I call home.
It sure feels like I love to pull out a plastic, blue Chase card with an embedded microchip and
hastily jam it into an ATM to pull out money
to waste on all the gritty, wrong things. Like going into a liquor store at 4.p.m
when your shift at work starts at 5 p.m and chugging it down like a madman on a ledge about to
jump off.
But to have all that fun, you must dig down in the dish-pit, washing down slobbered on forks and
knives for hours just to help out the Man.
What I would do to fight for my life and walk up to the Man, slipping and rollings away from his
punches and catching his jaw with a straight left.

The Man will fall on the floor and not know which is right or left.
The Man will awake from a blacken time just like I did, he’ll awake at home.
The Man will understand he is just a man locked by chains of biology and time and culture, just
a man
tied to his location, tied to his money.
He’d want to jump off, drop to the end, volunteer for death, and commit suicide
and beg the question how a man like me can come forth.

But I take the left at the light to go to work for the money
I need, and I’ll wash those dishes with a face that looks like it wants suicide
but really, I am a man just a little bit annoyed and I’ve been there before.

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This Poems Story

This poem uses a sestina format to articulate the many situations and thoughts that allowed me to be the man I am today.