My dad never taught me how to fix my bike or ride it
and I'm starting to feel like all this crying comes from
tire grease, dropping like lug nuts in a coffee can.
When I was a kid I'd pray to God every night
for my dad to die. I thought this was the only way
my mom could live. But what does it really matter,
now that my tears drip like morphine through a tube in his arm
so he won't wake up and see how fucked he is.
If he knew he’d never been so close
to something real, he'd end it all himself.
This time my tears have come too late and the pain
is kicking in. Maybe soon the wind will
suck me dry, but that won't help me understand how
I'm supposed to watch my dad lie stiff as new leather.
And I'm starting to feel like maybe God does exist after all--
But if he took this long to answer my prayers,
he’ll never listen when I ask to take them back.
About the Author: Vanessa Batyko is a poet from Los Angeles. She studies creative writing at the University of Southern California, but she mostly writes from behind a customer service desk. Her work has most recently been published in Semantics Magazine.