My father parks what he calls his blonde truck a little too


to other cars on the block, to conserve space.

He yells “Hark” when he comes home,

and “Hark,” my mother responds quietly.

She’s reading the paper.

“What is a kiss?” my father asks the dog, who licks his face.

“You don’t know what a kiss is.”

He stretches out on the floor

in front of our television set,

grinding his lower back

onto the coffee table,

waiting for a pop.

At the end of the news hour,

the crew of a space shuttle comes on for an interview.

They try to stay in some approximation

of a seated position,

but they float upwards. One man

has all but given up —

you can see him giggling as

his head bumps the ceiling.

Afterward, the scent of burnt garlic

wafts from the kitchen.

My father’s cooking dinner.

He’s arranged bell peppers over

a pile of ground meat,

a pinwheel he’s proud of, and which he photographs.

“White Sox are on now,”

he says, and the jocular

timbre of the announcer

fills the room like a

familiar friend.

He calls a fly ball

a “can of corn.”

For the first time we’re curious.

“Easy to reach,” my father says.

He plays with the chocolate ice cream

on his spoon, creating a creamy sculpture.

“Can of corn,” he

says in twenty different

voices. He likes it.