in 1997, the year my father
was deported. His beard uncombed
as starlight. His crime couldn’t sing
without a tongue. That spring without
him, the Hanson brothers lilting
MMMBop sunshine, the flowers
growing or not growing under the bleachers
of the high school, MMMBop I walked
home alone in fear of anyone
who’d see the murderer in me.
In the song’s parlay MMMBop
is pop for the unsayable
but cheerfully, the reverse
of a black hole, or of my father
with his back to me—can you tell me?