How to love my dad:

How to love my dad:

By Phuongthao Hoang ’22. Art by Amsel Saleem ’21.

                     (especially if he wakes
                     at 4 AM, before the crack, to
                     see Scott Haney on Channel 3;
                     to vacuum the carpet, but only
                     downstairs, of course, because
                     the dreams are upstairs;
                     and sometimes to wash
                     the mac ‘n cheese bowl,
                     stained for a few hours at least,
                     a reminder that nancy still lives,
                     even if he dreams before she remembers
                                                             her “goodnight”)

Always wash the coffee mug
kissed by cigarette smoke, and if the smoke lingers,
breathe more
        he is here;
                     but never cut
Sunday cartoons from the newspaper
because he likes to do the “Things To Do”

Watch the barber snip his bangs, and sometimes
even his eyebrows, and try every sample
at BJ’s Wholesale Club, especially on Sunday mornings,
because Mr. Bright Side sounds the best
in the grey Nissan Murano, and buy
Wrigley’s even when Trident is on sale

Fold the uniform ripped at the armpit,
a reminder of his ear drums, just a casualty
to the factory
       fuck you, Permasteelisa;
                     rest in peace
to the “thank you”s I could have said,
but more importantly, to the “I love you”s
I should have said