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By Mila Beliso

That’s what my father would say to my mother
on the open road, on our way to Las Vegas,
if we came in contact with extraterrestrial life.

He would mumble “Hola” and
extend a firm handshake, eager to exchange
pleasantries with tentacle-shaped specimen,
but not showing the slightest enthusiasm
Because that’s just not his way.

From the backseat of our car I would hear him sigh
about the economic parasites of Buenos Aires,
about how nothing in life comes easy, and
even though his recent discovery would compromise the bible
he would still insist that we could join the aliens on Mars
“If god allows”.

My mother and I would juggle coolers filled with prosciutto slices
and bottled Cokes, a gym bag of my father’s soccer equipment,
up the long stairway to the UFO’s entrance,
blinded and exhausted by the obviously futuristic lights.
We would make a second trip for our own bags.

The aliens, they would kick the ball around with my father –
he could always reduce the extraordinary to kicking around a ball.

My mother, no longer in love with him but still infatuated with
the way he tended a goal, she would join them.

And me, I would groan-
I always hated soccer.

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