Chad Parenteau – They Say I Should Be Used To It

Chad Parenteau

They Say I Should Be Used To It

My father throws out another pop question:
Name the desired shape of the dream house
I envision for myself and my new girlfriend.
I yell out, “Polyhedron.”  Not because
I know the shape, but because a shorter word
will cause him to say I betray my education.
Instead, he tells me it’s out of my price range,
that my imagination needs an on-line budget upkeep.
Still, my thoughts focus on the hole in my chest,
where my father removed my heart
to prove my lack of knowledge on love.
I look to my girlfriend out of one eye
that tries to convey the obvious:
They tore my fucking heart out.
But she is already peering through it
to my mother on the other side.
I pretend to pace nervously as they size each other up
like pets through screen doors.
I turn to try and keep them circling
in an attempt to keep away from the man
with the bat, who finishes these visits
with such regularity, he’s moved beyond metaphor
as he waits for the crowd to disperse
so he can work each knee to the pavement
with his constant refrain: “You’re just afraid of change.”

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