MASTER FILM

SOLMAZ SHARIF

my mother around that blue porcelain,
my mother nannying around the boxed grits and just-add-water pancakes
of the third richest family in Alabama,
my mother at school on Presbyterian dime and me
on my great grandmother’s lap singing
her home, my mother mostly gone
and elsewhere and wondering
about my dad, my baba, driving a cab
in Poughkeepsie, lifting lumber in Rochester, thirtysomething
and pages of albums killed,
entire rows of classrooms
disappeared, my baba downing Bud Light by the Hudson
and listening to “Fast Car,” my baba on VHS
interviewed by a friend in New York, his hair
black as mine is now, I’m four and in Alabama, I see him
between odd jobs in different states,
and on the video our friend shows baba a picture
of me and asks how do you feel when you see Solmaz?
and baba saying turn the camera off then
turn off the camera and then
can you please look away I don’t want you to see my baba cry

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