My friend’s professor

My friend’s professor is a thorough gentleman.

I have heard he never misses the early morning lecture
at half past eight.

He arranges his textbooks with geometric precision,
dusts off the morning from his blazer
with careful nonchalance

and with cold affection
launches a tirade on patriarchy.

Four hours later,
the morning growing old,
Beauvoir, Kristeva and hooks
lead the long march on the whiteboard.

My friend’s professor is a thorough gentleman.

So he spends his evenings at the CCD
sipping his latte and using the free WiFi
to scroll through Facebook

The evening azaan throws up dark shadows
that slowly stumble into the café
and occupy the empty chairs. My friend’s professor
hotly debates #MeToo with them

his support uncompromising
as they shield meaning from the silences
and dwell over the politics of adjectives –
woman or female?

At half past nine,
the shadows stumble out
in an ideological daze
and melt into the hunger of the metropolis.

My friend’s professor is a thorough gentleman.

Without his partner, he supports his daughter
and even allows her to live her own life.

His daughter — he had told her once,
when she was little and afraid of ghosts,
that there are no monsters in the closet
but only wronged humans waiting to come out.

My friend’s professor is a thorough gentleman.

At night, he explains to his daughter
the true meaning of empowerment

and in a moment of flickering urgency,
drops his trousers and quietly says:
Come to me.

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