after “Sums,” by Colin Robinson
My father manhood straight straight straight.
In the three seconds he was in my life,
he parade me round Princes Town market.
Telling all of he drunk bredrins how dick my big is.
I was four, he had it wrong.
But it was easier to leave a well-endowed toddler, I suppose.
I suppose he teach me everything he know, I suppose.
How Quaker Oats does make it stand up,
how baby oil does keep yuh skin smooth.
After a twelve-year day off, he send for me and my brother.
Ask if I was a virgin. I say yes!
Thinking he could be proud of sixteen-year-old me
waiting, beating book instead.
The next day he send me walking with a woman
who get paid to walk with me.
I didn’t realize until after he give she the sixty dollars.
That my charm wasn’t as charming as I thought.
I feel like he sell me that day too.
All now I trying to buy back that piece of myself
that makes me less of a man.
All now I still measuring measuring how much of a man I is.
Kyle Hernandez is a Trinidadian-based creative bent on utilizing absurdism and the performance arts as vehicles for discourse. He has toured five major cities in England with his craft and was featured at the Roundhouse Talking Doorsteps Program in London as one of only two Caribbean poets. Hernandez is a two-time first runner-up for the First Citizens National Poetry Slam and works as a teaching artist, poet, and director, using his platform to engage with thousands of young people across the country. He holds a BA in theater with first class honors from the University of the West Indies.