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 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. www.aehines.net