Written by Cameron Calonzo

Edited by Rodlyn Mae-Banting

I like lying to myself. I like 

pretending to recall your voice, 

the way it echoes my own. 

Sometimes I daydream about resting 

my head in your lap and tucking my knees 

up under my chin, making up for all that lost 

childhood spent crawling around, searching 

for pieces of you. Delusions are becoming 

more real to me than memories, though— 

the line between them has begun 

to blur.

There, I can reach you. 

Cup your face in my palms and 

pick that stray eyelash off 

your cheek, hold it up to you and say,

Here, Daddy! Make a wish!

There, I am certain that you are alive

because I can feel your breath over

my back. I can feel the warmth of your

hands like birthday candles on my

skin and I wish for nothing more than

this. There, I am loved and I do not know

anything else.

There, I do not weep on Father’s Day.

There, I do not Google your name

and stare at the rows of unflinching faces,

comparing my eyes to 

what might be yours as I mourn.

There, my heart is whole and 

the gaping you-shaped void 

was never there.

There, there. We will be 

okay, I promise. And there, 

that promise is not 

broken; I do not have to

lie through my teeth

any longer.

Illustration by Vivi Hashiguchi
Instagram: @vivihashiguchi

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