My father
–the one with my DNA–
Grew up in Youngstown and
had an interest in antiques.
Loved a family once,
with two little girls,
a beautiful wife that looks like
Shelly Long from Cheers.
He went where everybody
knew his name,
stocking fruit and wine
around the little haunts of Ohio
and once vibrant stores on
Market Street.
To me he represented mystery, brought stifled laughter
to my lips
with ever playful stories about his dreams.

Shelly Long doesn’t like hearing about my dreams,
and I just connected this to

Opening the box again.
Suddenly so very ready
for poetry manuscript
“Once Upon a Rainbow.”
I had completely forgotten that there were other things
in the fed-ex box aside from the bound copies that went out
to all those who actually knew him.

Opened the box and the air in
the room was different.
Thin, having been sucked back in time with me holding
a first draft of
“Higher Forces at Work.”
This, with yellowing surfaces
and turned up corners,
held me still,
barely clothed and searching to
get out words before I fell
out of the moment and lost
them forever.
Just like he did when his heart
all the pitter pattering becoming
drums from rock-and-roll songs
as the last parts of his stories
were gone. I didn’t tell him
the end of my stories—
Didn’t relate to the last images
of his dreams
and fell below the radar
of awareness, once again.