There are words for what numbers can contain, words for songs I don't know because I grew up in a country that played Top 10 hits months after they'd been replaced by the the next and the next and yet the next list. But I remember waking up late nights, my father laughing alone in his bathrobe at a joke in a Bob Hope show, the grainy black and white light from the TV. Sometimes the past feels like a joke timed wrong, the punchline only coming clear too long after. There's nothing tangible left of that home we inhabited— the walls have been knocked down like sets and the deeds have changed hands. The present is still raucous as vaudeville, or extravagant with drama: clumsy actors stepping into wet cement, falling on their knees; raising their eyes to a tarpaulin sky as a calliope whistles a carnival song, not quite drowning the sounds of funerals and thunder.