I love you, I told him
Meals on wheels didn’t come ’til three o’clock
He’s pissed
I love you too, he said, trying to swallow it back down


Rewind, thirty years:

Leisure suit and perm aside,
Dad’s never changed
Trouble with women, he says, they just want to be happy

He never remarried
Thanksgiving with my Mom—Christmas with Dad
I came home after college
He was an old man


He reads glossy magazines
Schools me on pop culture
On his 78th birthday he asked for Moby
Though lately he prefers punk

When I was young, I had this dream my dad was shot
in the chest with a cannonball
He came home in this dream; I could see right through
the big round hole
The wound was clean, as if he were made of cookie dough
I couldn’t bring myself to touch him


Gave my dad a hug the other day
We repaired his iTunes
Picked over cold lunchmeat
Snapped a few pictures, said goodbye

Three days later—snail-mail from Dad
Scrawled across the back of a carefully folded article
About Balinese Hip Hop:
I love you, too

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