ginen sounding lines

1 February 2013

~

“Curiously, there are no known migration legends in Chamorro lore …”

                              —Robert Tenorio Torres
                              from Pre-Contact Marianas Folklore, Legends, and Literature



~

when it is 2 pm here, it is 8 am the next day there—
to mark the precise location of—remember just
when dad tied an old tire to a metal pole of the wire fence
so brian and i could practice pitching—the hollow
sound when the baseball strikes the tire rubber—
the rattling sound when the ball strikes the wire
fence echo—but when the ball strikes the pole
through the middle of the tire that’s the sound
i can’t remember when it is 4 pm here it is 10 am
the next day there—i played little league
for the barrigada tigers black and gold
uniforms but i can’t smell the dirt when
it is 11am there it is 5pm the day before here—
the large cooler filled with ice and red
hawaiian punch—riding in the bed of dad’s truck
after games on the drive home listening
to american songs on the radio when
it is 6 pm here it is 12 pm the next day there—
how do i know if [we]’ve sailed beyond sight
of land, of once known world, of natural
starting point when it is 7 pm here is it
still the next day there?—brian played baseball
for father duenas memorial high school and dad
was the coach—maroon and gold uniforms—
remember just my poster of the “bash brothers,”
wondering what “oakland” was—”in california”
dad said, near where brian went for college, near
san francisco, where renee—when [we]
are here it is the next day there—on weekends
mom took us to hafa books and brian and i
could choose one pack of baseball cards each—
[we] kept the cards in a box under the bed—
the special cards in plastic binder sheets—i carried
the cards with us to california when [we] are here, will i
forget about there?—remember just finding brian’s “easton” bag
when [we] were packing, his bat, glove, a few baseballs,
in the dusty corner of the laundry room—still
dirt in the seams—did [we] bring those things with us when
it is 1 am here it is 7 pm the same day there—
and then i saw what “oakland” was after [we] moved—
the first american league game [we] attended—
the field felt like was an island, with dad and brian
surrounded by an ocean of people, of America—
did the “A’s” win or lose?—the green
and gold uniforms—when brian first moved here
[we] were still living there—he was eighteen hours behind us
and twelve hours, by flight, away—remember just
dad’s army fatigues—the rifle from vietnam
he kept under the bed—the only time i remember him
taking it out was when someone tried to break
into our house and dad chased him away—he
carried the rifle with us to california—remember
just
going to paseo padre park as a kid, mom and dad
would walk around the stadium for exercise,
talking with friends and relatives—i would run,
and, if i ran fast enough, past the walkers and joggers, through
the trade winds, i would eventually find my parents,
lap them, when it is 6 am here it is 12 pm the
same day there—remember just the timetable that mom
made after [we] moved, posted on the fridge—remember
just
the first day i joined cross-country in the first year
of my new high school in california—
five thousand nautical
miles

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