Namesake, Anthony Rintala




With whispers clenched between their toes,
my parents leapt into the night,

stealing their fathers’ names to my crib.
One of them paused audibly when I answered

the phone, rolling my name in his mouth.
The other rolled up sleeves bronzed from polishing

bars, exposed palms that beat on locked doors,
tugged nightgowns, making due while their mother hid.

My mother cringes when I hug her from behind,
shouts for my father, thinking, for a blink, I am hers.

Will my wife mistake the old man I’m becoming
for the one who rolled her onto her round belly?

Anthony Rintala

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