Written by Alma Mark-Fong

Edited by Emerald Liu

Fathers are only people 

They are neither gods nor heroes 

Even you, once Achilles in her eyes 

Must possess a tragic flaw 

But you 

Have been a walking catastrophe 

Promises of reconciliation resulting in 

All late appearances and half-hearted smiles Those too 

far and few between 

But she’ll hang on to your every word 

And forgive you of your trespasses 

until the poison of your manipulation 

makes her ears bleed 

It’s easy to make her forget 

And sew fabric patches over open wounds 

She’ll hold gauze to the blood and grit her teeth Because she’s always made it through 

and she will make it now 


She’ll hold you close to her heart 

In a rusty locket 

Left unopened for so long 

She no longer remembers what’s inside 

She hasn’t the heart to kill your memory 

Instead, hot tears will soothe her aching body And she’ll imagine her veins and skin are lined with steel While she chokes on the grief that threatens to drown her 

After all 

fathers are only people

Illustration by Vivi Hashiguchi
Instagram: @vivihashiguchi

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