BETTER DAUGHTER - michelle reale

She liked to tell how she was wearing an Alice blue dress when she met my father, a man with thick scars of loss.  I imagined her an angry Alice in Wonderland, her short dress, with an incongruous short white apron. No, no she said, not that Alice. She was my father’s sea siren, his savior. They were now two. I am blue, I said.  They scolded such indulgence; see the world full of need?  She with her sly blue eyes, narrowed into derision. I fingered the little blue mark on my thigh, where she jammed a number two pencil, said, he’s mine now.  Be kind, he said, no matter. He fingered the piece of lead I’d carry deep in the flesh, reaping hatred into muscle memory, dared me to come to him. In the mirror, I held my breath. A bluish tint bloomed on bloated lips.  I thought it could be that easy.  She stood behind me.  She looked lovely in blue. The dress would be mine in due time. I would wear it when I was bold enough to steal something that should never belong to me in the first place.  I’d make my father proud. 

Michelle Reale
Disparate Pathos
Meg Tuite