How to Watch Mexico vs. USA Soccer with A Father Who Is More Referee than Coach by Alan Chazaro

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


1st Half:

ask questions    you             already know
he’ll answer:           i.e. was that off-sides?
is that              a penalty shot? 
        can
you get ejected for a dirty     slide tackle?

understand that        this game is played
inside   a rectangle,         that a rectangle
is    unchanging,      that        boundaries
are         in place for     a                  reason.

2nd Half:

All I know about
his first wife is the photo
I found. Her dirty blonde
curls and blue eyes, a waistline
thicker than I imagined.
It was more than I believed
he could wrangle, her American
arms silking his bare
brown shoulders
like I have never seen before.
She skyscrapes among the 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 pink-flesh lips, probably tasting
of a different salt. I only know
her name is Connie, her legs
an open road that split north
to San Francisco. Over the decades,
she became the passport
in my luggage,
the citizenship I carry
into unknown fields.


Photo of Alan Chazaro

Photo of Alan Chazaro

Alan Chazaro is a public high school teacher pursuing his MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. He is the current Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow and a graduate of June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. Most recently, his work received an AWP Intro Journals Award and appears in dope journals, including Hotel Amerika, Radius, Minnesota Review, and Matter: A Journal of Political Poetry. A Bay Area native, you can usually spot him in some Oakland A's gear.