my father asks what you see in me.
I bite the inside of my cheek,
shove a forkful of pancakes into my mouth,
notice the salt shaker eyeing my wounds.
you launch “I love yous”
from a Brooklyn fire escape.
they travel 3,000 postcard miles
and collapse into my ear, exhausted.
I pinch their noses,
breathe new life into their lungs,
fold them into airplanes,
send them back to you
on our wedding day,
when I tell you “I do,”
it’s because I do.
it’s because you understand
how ten-thousand dollar apologies
still keep fathers worthless,
it’s because my ribcage expands
every time I think of you,
it’s for all the things
you see in me
not to notice.
– Rachel McKibbens