First, I need you to understand that our son

has two fathers — and no, I don’t mean me

and our Lord in Heaven. The only star hanging


in the sky after his birth, a red blinking beacon

of the radio tower on the roof of that bleak

Guatemalan hotel. The only woman there


not Mary, but Olga, his foster mom

who delivered him sleeping into my anxious arms.

No wise men or shepherds, no cattle rustling


beyond our beds. I’ve yet to see him

skip across the surface of a summer pond

or draw wine from the kitchen faucet. And


our house runs surprisingly short of bread.

You won’t find our son praying to one of us

behind the football bleachers, or atop


any stumps preaching to the other students.

So, for the love of Christ, can you please,

please update your form?


It’s two thousand and twenty in the year

of our lord — my name is not Joseph,

my ex, not anyone’s god. Our boy


is sixteen, our pronouns, He / Him / His.

And we’re fed the fuck up having to decide

which father to list as his mother.



AE Hines

AE Hines is a poet living in Portland, Oregon. He is a recent Pushcart nominee and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including: Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, I-70 Review, the Crosswinds Poetry Journal, SLAB, and Pinyon.

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