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  • i think i listened to my father
    the weekend we went to new york
    a few summers ago.

    i listened to the slap of his palm on the pink handball
    as he showed me the court he went undefeated on
    52 years ago.

    the corner where he popped a chrome carat off a chevy bel-aire
    with a screwdriver and pocketed it.

    the house where his mother lifted his coat and heard it jingle.

    the front yard where his father almost turned him in,
    then refused to talk to him.

    the hospital where his father went weeks later,
    where they had no phones and where children weren’t allowed to visit.

    the living room where my father came home to,
    full of men and women wearing black, how he never said goodbye,
    how his father never said “it’s ok” or “you’re ok”.

    i listened as we entered the graveyard
    and watched as he tried to find the grave.
    he had no idea where it was.

    and when we finally got there to spread his mom’s ashes
    on his father’s grave, he cried for two.

    and i cried for one.
    for him.

    and then i think back to an office party my father took me to one year
    not so long ago. while he was playing
    air guitar, i remember my father’s secretary telling me that when
    he, the ceo of the company, takes a stamp from her drawer to send me a letter,
    he later puts the exact change
    on her desk.
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