Daddy Issues

Whispers, Emily Bryn

Sylvia Plath would call me a spic. In the light 

my eyebrows almost pass for a Spaniard’s. In the darkness, 

Pablo Neruda would call me a gringa. What do you call 

a Mexican poet that doesn’t write poems about their skin? Unpublished. 

What do you call a white boy that still likes Charles Bukowski? 

A genius, a real 

p o e t. In the light, I almost pass 

as a boy. As a white boy. In the mirror, I double bind my chest 

though I know I’m not supposed to. I don’t smoke cigarettes 

but I know the real poets, the self-masturbatory geniuses 

are supposed to. I wonder if E.E. Cummings ever 

would have written poetry about masturbating with my mouth, 

wiping off the tender drips of love crumbs. 

I wonder if Ezra Pound would have shook my hand 

though it is olive and cuddling. I wonder if my daddy issues 

would ever be good enough for Sylvia Plath to read.

About the Author

Phoenix Leigh · Eastern Michigan University

Phoenix Leigh (they/them) is a nonbinary, Latinx, first-gen author studying at Eastern Michigan University. They have been published in Misery Tourism, Rejection Letters, and other journals. You can find them on Twitter @theyquil. This piece first appeared in The Allegheny Review.

About the Artist

Emily Bryn · Saint Edward’s University

Emily Bryn is a Mexican-American artist in Austin, Texas. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a minor in Gender Studies and Sexuality at St.Edward’s University. When she isn’t drawing or painting, Emily Bryn is creating apparel for her side project regarding immigration policies, where a percent of every purchase is donated to an organization aiming to help immigrants fight for their deserved rights. Emily has made apparel worn by singer Orville Peck, created an installation for Austin-based Korean restaurant Oseyo, is #1 in Visit Austin’s article of Artists to Look Out For, and has worked on designing a few state level political campaigns. See more of her work on Instagram @emsbrynart or her website, This piece first appeared in Sorin Oak Review

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