My Mexican Girlfriend Asks Me to Tell Her Something I’ve Never Told Anyone

My father was a white man
who thought Mexican women were exotic
He stapled a poster of Frida Kahlo above the marital bed
the one in which she is bound in an instrument of torture
and her boobs protrude beyond the bars

Later I learned that it was a self-portrait
Kahlo’s rendition of herself in a medical device
Her body had been crushed in a street car accident
most of her bones had been fractured
and a steel rod had pierced her vagina

The door to my parents’ bedroom was always closed
I wasn’t supposed to know that the poster was there

I often heard my parents fighting
sometimes all night
My father had grown up in
a blue-collar neighborhood
where there were broken-down cars on most front lawns
Some of them were being worked on
In my mother, he had taken cruelty
for exoticism

He owned a Mexican wrestling mask
metal-flake green with silver sparkles
and sometimes he put it on
got naked
and stood in front of their bedroom mirror
and flexed his muscles
I wasn’t supposed to know that either

But my mother was a lot tougher than him
and often kicked his ass
It may have been a true S&M marriage
with her as the dominatrix
I’m not sure

But the upshot is
that I developed an unhealthy addiction
to combat sports
and if the doors of domestic violence are closed
if my vision is blocked
from viewing abuse au natural
there are arenas with rings
where mayhem is served up
for me and others like me



MTCHELL KROCKMALNIK GRABOIS has had over thirteen-hundred of his poems and fiction pieces appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google “Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois”. He lives in Denver.


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