He would be a torturer
Was one of the first thoughts I had
Of my brother-in-law
If he had been born in the right country
At the right time
The way he handled the dog
Giving it a bath
Standing over it like a member of the Gestapo
As it squirmed and whined under his roughness
His entitlement to inflict suffering on everything around him.
Even on his nephew,
Whom he beat when he was left alone with him.
This caused fights between him and my husband,
Who both grew up in a house of shrieks and violence.
The difference was that for the rest of his life my husband
Put himself in front of the bulldozer
In a way that nobody had done for him when
He was small.
Some become the protector
Some become the torturer.
They would yell at each other,
Lucio’s hand around Anael’s neck,
Daniel’s hand on Anael’s shoulder,
And I watched the child,
Not from the pain of Lucio’s blows
But for the inner conflict and confusion
He, like me, loved them both.