by David Handsher

OF MY FATHER killed by a heart attack and his boss and a resentful son and his own harsh father and his distrust of doctors and what he saw and what he could not have and by the workman who drove away with his car and by Hitler and by all the anti-Semites and the German neighbors who poisoned his dog and a wife who did not understand and his ties that hung too tight around his throat and his cheap wardrobe ten years out of fashion and a hernia that made his throat gag until an operation formed a scar around his ribs and his sleeveless undershirt and short underpants and the outboard motor that would never start and Dale Carnegie and the gun he kept in his car and his second wife who died from cancer and the raw onions and beer in front of the tv and his hate for the lazy rich and his health food wheat germ and molasses sitting next to his favorite salami in the refrigerator and the accordion he kept in the closet but never played and the piles of newspapers in his small final apartment and his cowboy hat he used to wear when his children were young and the picture of him in his tuxedo with his beautiful bride and his deliveries to the speakeasies in his Model T Ford and the wig he wore to cover his bald spot and his Pontiac he replaced every two years and his screaming “For crying out loud” and his tickling mustache and wet lips when he kissed me goodnight.