Daughter as Disguise
I am the daughter. I ask for help. I ask what makes a face without my father’s eyes? My mother’s turn. What makes a room without a chair to take a load off? What makes a name if you never hear it right. Right, I follow a corner until it leads to another. If a daughter is forever, then what is a corner? Mine leads to a dog yelping from its hard place. I want to forever leave this cul-de-sac. I want to never return. I want to stop being punished for what I was taught. But door-slam? A belt-snap is a reason to say stop. I can’t take this any more. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I said, I’m sorry. Or something like that. Daughter as disguise. You can hit me, but you can’t use your hand. Belt becomes arm without hand. Arm aims for skin. There’s no hand to blame. The non-buckle side. I am wearing skin. Surely it must be there.
Andie Francis is the author of the chapbook I Am Trying to Show You My Matchbook Collection (CutBank Books). She holds an MFA in poetry from The University of Arizona, and is an assistant poetry editor for DIAGRAM. Her work appears in Berkeley Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Greensboro Review, Willow Springs, and elsewhere.