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September 8, 2015 | Poetry

Daddy Issues

Tyler Gillespie

Daddy Issues photo

I hate poems about dads,
it’s like, we get it: He left
so you’re fucked up.

He left so you’re here,
talking to me

in this divey gay bar. We
will most likely leave together

tonight, then in morning light
say we’re too busy, I don’t have

the time or something
along those lines.

I notice you don’t
tip the bartender
which makes me think
you’ll be

a selfish lover.

I don’t judge you for this
-- the selfish lover part --
b/c I get mine

& I hope you don’t mind
I won’t pay my tab.  

From a bottle,
I tell you
I wish my dad
would come
out as trans
like Caitlyn Jenner
&/or late-in-life gay
like my ex-boyfriend’s father.

I’m not sure that’s an ally
thing to say, but
then I could at least
forgive him

for leaving
b/c he was going
through some shit.

I hate poems about
dads, but this poem
is about mine

once a boy
who climbed trees
that were seeds

dropped from birds
carried by wind
first a voice

in a throat.  

The point is: everything
started somewhere
& even bad men were
babies & only evil
people hate babies.

That’s not like, deep
or anything

but I think so
at 4AM
on a barstool.

In the bar,
it’s only us
& an old guy.

He’d pay
for your drinks

& buy breakfast,
which to be fair
is sometimes
all you want
eggs, toast, coffee,

& cab fare.

I get it, you say,
as you walk toward the
man.

I get it,
I think,
there are trees
with no legs
who still find ways to walk

& birds missing beaks
still crave seeds.  

I finally get it, I think, so
I don’t watch you leave
the bar

with a man
who I hope
is my father.

 

image: Aaron Burch


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