My Dad Died Before I Even Had My First Kiss

Unsplash / Abigail Keenan
Unsplash / Abigail Keenan

My Dad Died Before I Had My First Kiss

I still hate phone calls,
wonder,
sometimes,
if it’s a side effect from the grand loss.
The ring makes me jump
like suddenly
it’s 5 AM and I’m in a hotel room
with family friends so I can finally sleep.
So I’m not awake with my ear pressed to the door
listening to labored breathing.
My stomach hasn’t settled
Seven years,
Some nights,
I can’t even look at my phone.

I still hate goodbyes,
wonder,
sometimes,
if it’s a side effect of sudden leaving
not by choice
but still an exit I can’t stop replaying.
I tell boys
I barely love
to not leave me
because I am afraid of the silence
of waving
and dusty paths that never seem to settle.

I still hate my mother crying,
wonder,
sometimes,
if I didn’t do enough to soothe it.
How quickly I ran into the arms of someone else,
did not stay to rub her back.
I kissed someone for the first time
after my dad died.
Is that why
romance
tastes a little like my own heartbreak?

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 10.14.37 PM

Things I Think About At 2 AM On His Couch

The first time I let silence speak for me,
I remember tasting bile in the back of my throat.
Thought it was normal to feel acidity,
Like maybe it was just how things happened.
I would bite my tongue
and you would bite it,
too.
It wasn’t until a doctor opened me up
with scopes and cameras,
said,
“your esophagus looks like it’s been experiencing trauma”
that I finally realized
you weren’t kissing me
like healthy boys do.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 10.03.32 PM

Love Story

I want you at your dirtiest,
when you cannot rinse away reasons others left.
Find me in the mildewed towel.
We shouldn’t be wasting our water,
All these droughts running rampant
Let this idea that I’m running
run dry,
I promise,
I will drink your flaws.
I am thirsty for the dark,
So don’t cover your mouth in the morning,
Darling.
Let me be your toothpaste.
If I wanted the perfect story,
I would have written it. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

Related

More From Thought Catalog