Getting Used to It

She brightens at the evidence. Like a strong appliance.
You can make it hot.
Grown ass people having tantrums.
I’m unbought, unheated. Like a perfectly square morsel of lasagna.
A wrathful rubics cube.
To realize, I wish to ridicule people interested in martial arts.
That I’m not getting better.
My uncle would prank call my father, “Immigration!”
He’d crow. And my father would fall to silence.
No matter the heavy accent.
No matter the voice he’d known unto boredom.
One wing swigging out to its brother on the other bird.
I measured this silence when I was a girl.
The quality of the joke and how it rested
on the bad stomach of a tensile citizenry.
The joke was that, in an instant,
We Lost Everything.
It is important to remember who would laugh first—
the perpetrator/uncle/jokester or the assailed/father/feather.
Or maybe, it isn’t.
Maybe what you should know is that
they told this joke over and over and ever.
My uncle crowed. My father disbelieved. We lost everything.
And then, the svelte, sweet brier laughter.

Sarah Gambito, "Getting Used to It" from Delivered.  Copyright © 2009 by Sarah Gambito.  Reprinted by permission of Persea Books,
Source: Delivered (Persea Books, 2009)
More Poems by Sarah Gambito