They called him Bebo. A chicano nickname that
came from I don’t know where. Legally, Javier.
His brother was Marcus but they called him Pokey and
Pokey’s wife was Pudgy. I don’t remember her real name
or what the hell any of it meant.
My mama fell in love with Bebo after she divorced my abusive father.
He was a very different man.
Very tall with tattoos on his arms
and a busty Latina on his chest.
Like he walked straight out of American Me.
Like mama decided she needed to shop the other spectrum of
machismo. Quiet but deadly. Gentle but broken.
There’s something beautiful about broken
until broken falls apart all over your life.
He had a bad childhood so that’s why he was so quiet.
a bad childhood so that’s why he drank so much.
a bad childhood so that’s why he snorted coke.
a bad childhood so that’s why he put his hands all over you
when you were only 13.
The why is never good enough.
It’s been years since I’ve seen him now
but I wonder who still calls him Bebo.
I wonder what his limp looks like
and if the gray has taken over his hair.
I wonder if he still locks himself in rooms
and blasts Pink Floyd until no one can stand it any longer
I wonder if still strokes his mustache nervously
and I wonder if in his darkest moments does he regret
ever touching me.
They called him Bebo and he passed along his broken.