Phil Estes

At the ceremony we were the little assholes in ties,
The fat ones wore polos.

Father Ben handed me the sheepskin,
And the complimentary portrait of Christ.


Dad took to the front and told a parable 
But never mentioned
The parable was Kurosawa's High and Low.

Toshiro Mifune, Shoe Executive,
Became us, followers of Christ—
We must take the children of chauffeurs into our arms.

We must know God doesn't care
If you held the sword
At Knights of Columbus indoctrinations.

His tears embarrassed me
Because I was also a pussy in his eyes
Who heard the other young men

Mock my father in the restroom
With attempts at his deep voice,
Their faces contorted like the faces of Kabuki actors.

They thought he was describing Mel Gibson's Ransom.
I didn't even try to break their jaws.
I shook my piss on the floor like they did,

Hung Christ in my room.
His blue eyes won't gray.
His heart is covered in thistles.    


My Dad took my arm and asked me to work
On my empathy, which followed me to Oklahoma
And into my bed at night.

I want to love everyone and raise them up, seriously,
Or take them all by my mouth
Like I am a wolf or a nice dog,

But I drink instead, and hold my cock at night;
Or I pack this big body into a booth
And act like I don't give a shit about you,

Like I am Mifune as Yojimbo. I have a big heart,
But it is always weaponized;
It is always sheathed. 







I feel guilty a lot.