In the 70s Pa wore bell-bottom jeans and styled
his afro like the Americanos he saw on T.V., back
when chest hair poofed from underneath leather
vests and sex wandered from salty eyes.
Pa never tells me about those days, about the drugs
and sleeping on beaches, but I can see it in the yellowed
photograph, him smiling like I’ve never seen before
with Wicho, Kiko, Ramon, Jackie.
His shirt is off and he is coolly flexing
a bicep while reaching back to keep his hair in its
immaculate form, concerned about
his good looks like I’ve never seen him before.
This is what I know of his past, how I learned
about the gringa with dirty blonde curls, blue eyes, thick
figure, standing with her arms around Pa’s shoulders
like I have never seen before. She is a skyscraper
among mud and jungle, wearing her independence
like a necklace for all to palm. I’ve never known her,
cannot make up her scents, am foreign to her flesh
pink lips, probably tasting of something else.
I only know her name is Connie,
and that she was Pa’s first wife. Over the decades
she has become the passport I carry in my luggage,
her legs an open road that veered north.