BY DENNIS ANDREW S. AGUINALDO
University Done With Graduates
Absent are good morning towelettes,
a paintbrush that rallied the grey into streets,
cones like lopped tips of goliath crayons,
a stretch of grocery straw
asking engines to keep it all breathing.
Unstolen under a clump of santan,
corner Doña Aurora: two cans of white paint.
It is known to rain.
It is known as the caballero,
brightest possible feather in a week of wet soil.
Atop the entrance find the ants
in disarray, unable to fall in line or die.
Each drop for them sounds a
renewed matter of startling.
* * *
What if we lose you before my wife gives birth.
Say there’s no limit to what
Capsules Ate can bring to this table.
Our discount cards splitting open
The coziest, most disinfected of hospital rooms.
What shall I tell this grandchild on the move
When you were never one to tell stories?
Your kindness only half the story.
The pictures on the mahogany, unsmiling.
Without him, we’d never have amounted to
Anything with a license.
For him, even a rival’s vote is sacred.
Should have been cream
But he refused the lull of the shade.
He did love to tend the trees, water the flowers.
So I began to stare at the sheen of wet leaves.
Are you done attaching the nozzle?
I said, are you done. The reason
I am respectful, and you are respectful.
Your grandmother, she’s the one fond of questions.
Hers, the delicate spelling of words.
To father belonged a cupboard of hoarse kettles.