An Open Letter to My Boyfriend's Ex-Father


I am tired of him looking at me in bed

and seeing you.

You slip under my sheets the way you slip into his mirror

haunting, daunting, daring him to turn into you.

But he is not you.

Sure, he has your eyes, mouth, sharp nose, full lips

the picture-perfect rendition of your high school face that stops

at the honesty in his eyes. But he will not

light candles for you,

or leave Halloween pumpkins on your doorstep, like a coward, or

send your sister letter that make her sob into my shoulders as I hold her.

I tell her "it will be okay". 

When he stops in the doorway I nod so we both know it's

You, and

I wish just once you would ask for forgiveness, and not from God

Or your daughter, or your son

Not even from yourself.


Ask it from me, for I am 

not a toddler's block tower that crumbles when you pluck




from its base.

I am not a child too young to understand what you have done.

I have seen you in her arms, and you have seen him in mine.

I am not going away.

The same cannot be said for you.


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