My father has only work/church dress Wranglers so when he relaxes at home he wears
just underwear

shirt and shorts, white and white on white. I am in training and must fold them.
The only time we are close.

We think the neighbor boy shows my baby sister his penis, but we are not sure.
He becomes a man and dies in Iraq

like lots of people. My father served in Asia but did not fight in any way
they give medals for.

At home everything is about jotos: Batman and Joto, Michael Jackson Joto,
Luke Jotowalker.

I cry though I am not sure why. I cry for Ethiopia and save my change in a Folgers can. I cry
for Charlie Brown

not the football part, which it seems like he deserves, but for when he gets
no valentines.

I have a brother who goes away and a father who lets him. I use the Africa money
to wish him back,

standing at the lip of the mall’s lazy fountain to pour in coins. They sink to the bottom,
faces of the dead just staring.


Erin Adair-Hodges