by Nicholas Reiner 

New Map

Ted L. Nancy wrote to Mars, Inc.
asking them to combine
Starburst and Skittles
and call the new creation “Startles.”

The world is changing:
I marvel at the ways
touch screens work. My dad died
without ever sending an email.

If I were to bring him back
and hand him my iPhone
which app would he tap first?
Maybe he’d open Sigalert

check traffic on the 405. Or Shazam
because the word sounds cool.
My mom gave the four of us some Startles
when she sat us on the carpet

to tell us he was gone.
When a green one dropped to the floor
my baby brother reached both hands
down from my mom’s lap—

cooed, drool dripping down
his mouth the way the words
daddy’s not coming back
hung from hers.

Nicholas Reiner is a Latino poet, sports writer, and chess expert from Southern California. His work appears in Spillway, Aquifer, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, B O D Y, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Zócalo Public Square, and Connotation Press. He holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of California, Irvine, where he completed an MFA. He is Director of Communications for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and he lives in Santa Monica, CA with his wife and daughter.