[his thumb pressing deliberately]

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How does the body wear, erode, disintegrate, when there is no job to wake up to in the morning? He sits in the sun on the picnic table for hours, skin tanned a deep brown. Broken blood vessels, bruises, and bandaids cover his hands. One small bump against a doorway could slice open the skin. Fingernails cut short but can crack a tab on a beer can with ease. Sometimes his thumb pressing deliberately against an electronic handheld game—poker and blackjack to keep the mind busy. Bald head sunburned in summer and him standing at the edge of the vegetable garden, arc of water against dirt, green stalks. He spent so much time sitting and watching.

I’m trying to recall the moments of no importance. Maybe then you will think that he was a good man who made only a few mistakes. But I’ve romanticized my memories because I want to believe he would’ve been better if it wasn’t for his lungs. If he could’ve taken care of us all.

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