My father likes to play hide and seek with his responsibilities
I’ll phone him; cut his head off with a medical bill
That’d beg his hands to shove my eyes
down the hollowed throat of his pocket
Not because I enjoy how his words uncuff my anxiety
Or his misconstrued display of rightness
Sometimes I wonder if there were different religious books for people like him
And another low-quality one for the rest of us.
He’s a master at losing every fiber
Of obligation from the intricate lace of his reality
On the other side of the phone
He’d go recite Falaq and Nas three times
Pour into a bowl of water and drink
There’s nothing God cannot make go away with prayers
The line cuts before I think of the next word to say.
My father thinks of himself as a wise man
He leaves you with the unseen hands that shift the cosmos into a wholesome globe
My mother goes about wondering how
She’d managed to survive this for over 20 years
Her voice is the one noise that unfolds my anxiety
So I phone my father, again
This time, I tell him the bill has been sorted out
And he does not ask how.