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Things I Will Not Write About
I tell Mr. F, Andy,
I’ll never write about my father again.
He is standing at that old, huge bookshelf,
looking for The Forgiveness Parade,
and I have my legs pulled up under me,
my chin resting, exhausted, on top.
I tell him I won’t write about
my father, or his father,
because writing is a magnifying glass,
and I don’t want to see them
I won’t write about politics,
about screaming at my father
when he said Obama should die,
or about baseball, or football,
or sports in general.
Daddy made me a Jets fan
so I’d learn disappointment early.
“So don’t,” he says.
“No one will make you.
No one will make you write
about your best friend and his first boyfriend,
about sneaking out to Cumberland Farms,
about the smell of burnt pizza,
about the glint of a knife, the quiet of a library,
about your love for Oscar Wilde and bubble tea,
about Andrew or Joshua, or, God forbid, Rebant.
“Don’t write about pills
or your first goldfish, first boyfriend,
or the time you stuck your hand in a ceiling fan,
or when you jumped off a bus in Mexico,
or the parties behind your house you weren’t invited to,
or the Strawberry Hill wine you’ll never, ever drink,
and please, God no more dead dogs.
Don’t write about your father,
or his father.”
“Good,” I say.
“Just so we’re clear.”