things i wish i could tell my father

i. stop haunting my dreams. i don’t want you there because it feels so comfortable when you’re around and i hate being comfortable around something you did.

ii. why did you do that to my sisters but never me? why was i so different?

iii. all my insecurities stem from you. i stopped smiling with my teeth because you made fun of my mouth for multiple years.

iv. the therapist asks if i hold resentment against you and i always shrug my shoulders.

v. i’m sorry i tried to “correct” your grammar when i was a child.

vi. your sister’s son tainted me nearly every night for about seven years. it started when i was four.

vii. everyone in the third grade loved the chicken strips you heated in the microwave for my class potluck.

viii. i can’t stop picturing your hands around mom’s neck.

ix. i fucking hate the way i look because i have your eyes, nose, chin, eyebrows, ears, and fingertips. i want to alter my whole self away from you.

x. i don’t remember your voice. i haven’t heard it since 2013. i don’t think i want to hear it again.

xi. are you proud of me now?


aki w. is a trans qpoc based in california. they enjoy reading and writing about their experiences with mental illnesses and pretty (and dirty) things. they have attended california state summer school of the arts for creative writing in the summer of 2016. you can reach them on twitter (dipbrow) and instagram (kirahstagram).

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.