Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

I Wonder if Renting a Father is Illegal

Jan 18 · 2 min read

“Why am I the only little black girl without a dad?”

She looks at me like I’m transparent.

I thank God I’m not because she’ll see my heart burst.

I wonder how he can break her heart.

She’s only three feet tall, and she hasn’t even gotten her adult teeth yet.

She is too fragile to suffer like this.

She has a broken face — small, brown, round and beautiful, but definitely shattered.

“Oh, honey, come here.”

Tears spray out of her, like a car hit a fire hydrant.

I hold mine because crying means I’m hurt, and it can’t be about me.

“Baby, you’ve got a father. He just has a lot of things going on right now.”

I bandage her wound while giving him an excuse.

I guess when someone you love is bleeding, you look for what’s nearby.

Oh, but my baby’s not normal.

She is bright.

So much so that I should have named her fluorescent, and I would have if I was an actress.

But because I’m simple and sensible, she got stuck with Jordan.

Jordan looks at me: “What could be more important than your own child?”

Damn, she kicked me right in the lung just like she did when she was inside.

I want to take my phone and send him a message to paint him a vivid picture of the destruction.

But in all honesty, her pain is collateral damage to my bad life choices.

He was not born in love, and I expected him to know how.

Every woman who ever tried to show him has cut herself pretty badly.

I am a coward, and I don’t have the courage to tell her it was my fault.

That I believed that her birth would fix me, and him, then us.

Instead, I hold her until she stops spirting and I bury the leak in my bosom, and when she finishes we play Barbie’s.

After, I lock myself in the bathroom and melt in the tile.

On the ground, I think about buying her a father, and I wish Amazon sold the shit I need.

You’re desperate if you’re tempted to type, “lease a father” in Google.

I come out of the absurdity of it.

I really dislike the people who hurt him and I, and now they hurt us.

Brown Ink

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