Family

On Living In A Fractured Family

Why did you have to go, my dearest father?

-Oh, but I know. Your body was riddled with pain, the bullet holes of disease making you bleed. First your teeth, then your esophagus, lungs, heart, kidneys. I watched you shrink into your cancerous agony. It was a black hole vacuum sucking your will and life away, far away.

Why did you have to go?

-I understand. Life was a blessing no longer, but a curse. I wish there’d been a vile witch that had bedeviled us with sour deeds. I wish I could hunt it down and rip out its tongue, for making you weep. An eye for an eye, a life for a life. I would have licked the gore off my knife and howled my vengeance to the night. But there’s no one to blame. And that’s what hurts.

Why did you have to go?

-I’m a lost child in an unfriendly and too vast night. You were there to burn away my fears with your bright presence and the light within that somehow never gave way to grey. Did the sea creep into your window and slowly ebb your spirit away? Did you feel the tide come and go, letting it rock to and fro? Are you now in the waves, bits of foam like pearly white teeth smiling? Now, I’m downing.

Why did you have to go?

-Dad, I’d do anything to feel the gift of your laughter, like thunder on steel, your eyes bright with wreath of golden flames afire with promise, your bawdy jokes and well told lies. You were the one that always made us smile. I wish I’d thanked you for that, while you languished in a hospital bed.

Without you, we are nothing but a —

F

R

A

C

T

U

R

E

D…

Family.

Dad, I wish it had been me. TC mark

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I am the girl who gave up whiskey to drown in stars and nostalgia, instead. I am the girl who has so many dog-eared romance novels that people, when they notice my bookshelves, chuckle self-consciously. Does she really believe in that stuff? I hear their whispers, smile to myself in a cracked mirror, because I do. I am the girl who was broken and eaten, the meat sucked clean from my bones by men with sharp teeth and words like barbs, who enjoyed the taste of my poetess meat. I am the girl who revived herself with the salt of your tears and the words I made myself write. Follow Elisabeth on Instagram or read more articles from Elisabeth on Thought Catalog.