when he stopped writing her

the letter always bled for her for her eyes (brown as those old bottles in the medicine cabinet) bleeding words like teardrops yet without spilling onto the green tile floor those words always pure only staining the paper glossy black ink blood like muslin stuck to an old wound those words always strong yet blurred, obscure words only a scholar would find obscene

happy are those who die because they have returned to those first crumbs of dirt that fed us to that first hole to that soft black and smell of coal

-Pablo Picasso

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To Fathers With Daughters

every time you

tell your daughter

you yell at her

out of love

you teach her to confuse

anger with kindness

which seems like a good idea

till she grows up to

trust men who hurt her

cause they look so much

like you

–Excerpt of Milk and Honey– Rupi Kaur

Again

mangle my name in your mouth

choke on each syllable

tangled

as the curls in my hair

thick

as the fated course we’re on

destiny is a four lettered word

that you can’t pronounce

Go home

repatriate yourself

swim in the bowels of the womb

that birthed you

and

make yourself new

learn a love, cut it up, bake it

into your grin

like cinnamon

blend

then

tell me

my name again

–A. Long