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
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
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