The men in my family always smiled in pictures.
Toothy, grins exposing poor dental work done too late to
save incisors or premolars from porcelain caps or gold
crowns. Their cheeks flushed by the kind of laughter that
comes from Budweisers chilled in bathtubs filled with
ice or the high-pitched whine of a guitar in old school
bachata they sang along to, or the children they hid from
this family gathering. A chorus of sweat dripping from
pomade and polyester. Arms entangled in necks, leaning
on shoulders, fists up in fighting stance, lit cigarettes
perched on purple lips.
“!Parecemos perros!” they chucked after rolls of film and
polaroids were developed and protected behind plastic
sleeves in photo albums only the women collected.