I got home from wrestling practice earlier than usual that day,
went around the back of the house.
Through the screen door I saw my father
drinking lemonade and watching TV.
I didn’t know why I was so mad
seeing my father finish off the pitcher,
watching him swirl the sugar in his cup.
It was like all those years swelled
underneath the skin of newly formed muscles.
I didn’t know how to throw a punch then,
but managing to ground my father, anchoring my body on top—
I aimed my strikes like handling an escopeta:
the shell of my forearm loaded with all the gunpowder of recent years.
I could barely hear my mother’s screams over Sábado Gigante.
El Chacal playing the trumpet loud & fast.
The audience chanting fuera, fuera, fuera,
when I got up from my father & walked out the door.

Darren Donate’s work represents Zacatecan life and peoples, depicting the dual struggles of migration and marginalization. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico, while also working as an English teacher and welder.

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