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California

Where is your father?
Can’t be known.
Where is your mother?
Home alone.
Where is your sister?
Oversea.
Where is your brother?
Far from me.

What’s California?
Burning brush.
Why is it burning?
Thunderhush.
Where is the thunder?
My brother’s laugh.
Where is your brother?
Diamondcraft.

What’s a diamond?
Stars that broke.
Why are they broken?
Heartache. Hope.
What do they hope for?
My brother’s smile.
Where is your brother?
Thousands of miles.

How many thousands?
Stars by night.
Are you a star?
Writing in light.
What’s your hope?
That my brother will see.
Where is your brother?
Far from me.

Ian

Ian throws the plastic ball, and his brother swings and clips it with the red bat. The ball doesn’t go very far.

“That wasn’t a good throw,” declares his brother. “So it’s called a ball.” He kicks it toward the middle of the yard.

“How many of those do you get?”

“Four,” says his brother, hesitantly. “Then… I get a ghost runner on first. The other ones go to third and fourth.”

Ian’s positive there wasn’t a fourth base when they started, but he got out for missing it last time. He picks up the white ball out of the dirt.

Rainer

“Who was that one dude?” muses Rainer. “The British somebody? Prime Minister. Who said he had sex with all those women. All those illegitimate children or something. Did anybody ever, like, call him out on that?”

“Tony Blair?” says Ian blankly. “Uh, Margaret Thatcher?”

“No, William… Winston…”

“Winston Churchill? I think he had a mistress, but he wasn’t really–”

“No, that wasn’t it. The one guy who came before him!”

“You mean Nev–oh.” Ian pauses, then asks heavily, “You mean Wilt Chamberlain?”

“Yeah!” shouts Rainer. “Yeah! I told you, man, that British dude everybody says was such a pimp!”

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