My dad stands up

and leaves the room.

At 73, he has to pee

all the time.

Sometimes,

I’m in the bathroom

and he goes outside

on the flowers

in full-view

of our neighbor.

She lives alone, and watches him relieve himself.

Now, she has a big brown dog

that watches her place

and him.

“It’s okay Howard. You don’t need to mark your territory,” the neighbor-lady says.

“Actually, I do!” My dad shouts.

She goes inside, disgusted.

He and her dog have the same name.

“Sorry dad. I didn’t mean to keep you out of the bathroom.”

“That’s okay, son. Somebody needs to show that dog who’s boss.”

“What do I do with my life?” I ask.

He leaves the room. Then he comes back.

“I could be a leader.”

He leaves again.

“You know, that program I was in, was terrible. I was going to email them this poem, but I never did.”

My dad leaves again.

“Did you write it?” My mother asks.

“No.”

He comes back. My dad wants to escape my vanity.

Sometimes, it’s there

but most of the time, it’s a false alarm.

He farts. “Oh—time to go.”

My dad comes back. “False alarm.”

He stands up

a lot

and sits down.

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