Today, miles and years from Papi’s record player,
the night rolls itself open blue linoleum,
the guitar strings my extended hand in his direction.
We are taught many things by counting time, even this.
The music coats Friday in molasses,
sweeter than his most aged mamajuana—
how it curdled my stomach. When I smelled him.
His solo wobble. He should have danced with me more often.
Instead, I killed him for almost half my childhood:
If this was the only father I had to claim
I preferred him buried in memory.
Now, his records drag like a long breath
between the pause of songs.
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