Daddy Tissues

Sometimes I catch myself trying to be what daddy wants

I see my will to please, or show off in his presence

I’m loud to attract attention, volleying wit around like cigarette ash

he is unmoved

and then I’m quiet, so as to add my stare to my presence

to prove my abilities of reservation,

always I see his unflinching eyes

from newspaper, television set, sick cat, tinkering tools

and anxiety fills my chest

scrambling egg mind

yolk all mixed with whit yin all done up in the presence of yang, curdling its fetid dot at my cool core

I want to spit out the grape sour raisins from my mouth

hooked on gone-intoxication, I hate this seed of self

In my (w)hole that contains it, I want to expel

want to spit seeds at the world, if it means an eye turns – I see it.

I see every flinching lash

winking eyebrow

I never got the words or the attention, so I became a reader for internal thought, for hidden emotion

No – emotion thought too excessive to express

though I strain my abilities to be impressive

I learn to imitate him

Unmoving from my focus, though frenzied frontal lobe is escalating everything I perceive

Peripheral foot fall

I’ve seen too many backs of heads

to continue to appear as though I care

and I care and I care and I care and this page is the only thing in my face

I am daddy now, I hold the paper, I hold the glare of the TV,

hold my own hand

my own frame of mind

the picture frame hanging by our dining room table, adorning

horrible, peeling wallpaper

I’m a wallflower at dinner conversation, silently observing daddy

His despondent reverie into dinner, eternal focus on his plate,

eyes lolling to leave

I laugh so strongly at any joke or gesture of his,

craving that photo from when I was three

adorning that horrible wallpaper

me on his lap, family around, but his hands on my waste


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