artwork by Gianna Meola
Artwork by Gianna Meola

if you’ve inherited my thin wrists
crumbling teeth or hesitant lips please
remember this:
you don’t need a fist to make a difference,
they soon will warm up to the chill of your kiss,
your presence in this world is more than necessary
and the circumference of your thighs should be the least
of your worries.
daughter, be brave
when your rib cage comes crashing down
and you find yourself
for air
but no one else is there.
don’t fear how natural somber sighs sleep on your tongue;
sadness is a delicacy that we specialize in,
though i hope you never acquire the taste
never crave the bitter aftertaste of
12 pm panic attacks,
never ask for second helpings laced
with the iron of your blood.
some days
you’re a flood
a goddamn hurricane
daughter, make it rain
i urge you to leave your fingerprints
on the world
instead of pressing fingertips to backspace buttons
you have only one life
but an eternity
to be a ghost.
saline kisses can’t substitute love
so don’t look for a remedy to loneliness
in tears shed upon textbooks
that forgot to mention
girls who look like us
or with the help of a secure
wi-fi connection.
i will apologize in advance
if december days chill you to the core
and you feel more sore, less alive
with every passing day
if you feel compelled to hibernate
through the depression i bequeathed to you.
i burdened you with my face
every glance in the mirror leaves a haunting trace
of who you came from and how
you came to be
daughter, forgive me
but neurosis
runs in the family
and i’ve been empty since you left me and i know
you didn’t ask for it
i’m all i have left to give.

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