When the Hero Leaves the Game

for Martin Espada



I wish I could write poems to you

about my father.  Loving memories of his love

for sports, maybe he might have taught his little

tomboy about the joy of events.  How a special ball


player could change your entire perspective

on life.  But I am a truth teller, and I don’t know

that man’s love for the Indians, the Browns.  We’ve never

done anything together.  I only have poems about watching


him get drunk, scars his daydreaming left on my body.  Secrets,

I was told to keep, spoken in English broken

by Vietnamese slang, and screaming.  Screaming so loud,

Daddy. please stop.  So I’m sorry, I don’t have any


poems about my father’s love to give you.


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