Love of Violence

Love of Violence

his father's love
could only be expressed
through violence
and acts
of retribution

if an adult
did or said something
disrespectful to his son
the father
would tell him
and sometimes show him
by threat
or real violence
how things
involving his boy
got solved

his father always said
"i'll stick up for you
even if it costs me
getting my ass kicked."
since violence
against the father
didn't bother him much
since it had happened before
in a street fight
landing his father
in the hospital
years before the son
was born

so his father
now knew
he could live through
and come out
with the flying colors
of honor and courage
any degree of beating
he might

one night
the boy and his father
they were out playing basketball
on a court
a gravel lot

some teens drove down
under the flood lights
doing donuts
in the gravel
before parking
and piling out 
to play

in their fucking around
they'd scatter shot
the father's car
with the gravel
so the father
took his son
loaded him in their car 
and left

they went home
the father saying
"go inside. i'll be back."
the boy knowing
from the look on his father's face 
and when they'd sprayed
the car with gravel
what was about to happen

his father came back
"i went back down there. spit gravel all
over their cars too. then got out and stood there
and waited."

the boy asked
"what happened?"

his father explained
"there were 4 of 'em. but i didn't care.
there were 4 of 'em. but they didn't 
do anything."

from scenes
such as this
and the many
that followed
the boy
grew up to understand
that love
expressed only
through violent defense
wasn't much more
than standing up
for that old copper
bubbled and rusty wheel welled
ford pinto
that got sprayed
by a bunch of teens
with gravel

the boy
over time
came to understand
he was loved
as a defense
of property
of honor
or some other
abstract principle
but never
for the thing
in and of itself
that he was

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