MMMBop was released

Ayelet Amittay

in 1997, the year my father

was deported. His beard uncombed

as starlight. His crime couldn’t sing

without a tongue. That spring without

him, the Hanson brothers lilting

MMMBop sunshine, the flowers

growing or not growing under the bleachers

of the high school, MMMBop I walked

home alone in fear of anyone

who’d see the murderer in me.

In the song’s parlay MMMBop

is pop for the unsayable

but cheerfully, the reverse

of a black hole, or of my father

with his back to me—can you tell me?