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My father is a five-year-old child forced to hand out Jehovah’s Witness pamphlets in the Worcester snow. He is beaten by his father for saying the Pledge of Allegiance with his first-grade class. He is beaten by his teacher for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance with his first-grade class. My father is a boy left to urinate on himself at school because he is Italian. He is the Wop flesh beneath his teacher’s paddle. He is a sixty-three-year-old-man crying over a bottle of Patron while my mémère says: I’m sorry, Joel. He is a professional musician who cannot read music. My father chokes on his own vomit lying in the top bunk of a tour bus. He is a womanizer, almost run over by my mother in an apartment complex parking lot for laughing about it. My father does not swallow food but inhales it. He raises his hand like a child at the elementary school cafeteria table when I do the same, an unchewed meatball lodged in my tiny throat. My father asks me for cocaine when I turn twenty-one. Wrecks his car into a telephone pole backing out of a body shop. Wrecks his car into his fifth wife’s car backing out of their driveway. He is someone who never looks back. My father is a child locked inside his mother’s bar every week, a miniature janitor. Listens to Fats Domino on the jukebox and mimics the sound of Blue Monday with his hands on ivory keys. My father forgets to put out my stocking but has a white Christmas tree and purple porch lights. Asks: What are you stupid when I struggle to learn how to tell time. Time, I learn, will haunt us both, our bodies running parallel like the big hand and little hand of a clock. So one goes does the other. My father has two cell phones to hide an affair. Gets upset when his wife empties his closet on the front lawn. My father is a teenager who punches his mother’s boyfriend in the face at fifteen. Hitches a ride in a car with a hole in the floorboard to play at jazz clubs three hours away. He is a winner of televised piano duels, with one arm broken and strung up in a cast-sling. My father takes me to Toys-R-Us and lets me fill up the whole cart. He is a child who listens to his father say in court: I do not have a son. My father is a collector of mundane oddities: gas station ballcaps, petrified frogs, and Starbucks compact discs. He steals plastic reading glasses from Walgreens. Asks when did you get cool when I discover Woody Guthrie in high school. My father proudly displays his Grammy in two parts because his second wife hurled it at his head. He wrecks his car in a ditch with his husky Dakota in the backseat. Drunkenly crawls up the muddy embankment and lies half-dead on the side of the road next to overturned armadillos. Names his first solo album after me. Writes a song that tells me to go on and dream. Picks me up every day for lunch at T’s Diner. Tells the waitress her hair looked better blonde. My father has a tattoo of the Tasmanian Devil on his left arm. The unfinished name of a woman on his right shoulder. He is an unidentified male body found thrown across forty eastbound near Kingston Springs. His dental records reveal his name. His dental records catalogue a lifetime of whitening appointments. My father is a coffee drinker who spills hot liquid on me every morning on the way to school. He is a body the pathologist will not let anyone see without signing a traumatic stress disclaimer. My father is a body without a face. He is someone a drunken stranger insists died like a rockstar. My father is a man who smiles mouthfuls of pungent earth. Disrupts the dirt thrown over top of him and moves treetops with his wails.