Although there’s no water left, I take a sip from my cup.

I just want to stare at the cool porcelain bottom.
Because while my eyes blur into the edges,

for a moment, I don’t have to look at you.

I don’t have to wilt my lips into pleasantries

or swallow the shards of your untempered temperament.

In this ceramic oasis,

I am no one.

Not even your daughter.

Even if it were only ever in name.
Because when you told me,

I’d rather you be stupid but devout,

it made me wonder if thinking was a curse.
If it would be better to eat without chewing or

digest without taking in nutrients.

Maybe I’d swallow down my bitterness more easily.

Perhaps, this way,

the facade of your warmth would be less transparent.

Because tasting the expiration date on every single phrase,

your kind words hurt the most.

Like a keepsake that stabs you from your pockets and

reminds you of a place you once called home,

but now you call your source of dread.

It’s pathetic, isn’t it?

Dinner was supposed to make you full but you’ve never felt more hollow.

You’re left dreaming of escape from behind this cup.

Dreaming of being a fearless disappointment,

instead of a conditional unconditional love.

At the back of this cup, I can glimpse at my future and stay awhile.

Take a deep breath as I’m forced to lower it and

set it down in rhythm with my pounding heart

with a smile that nods emptily and hopes this moment will end soon,

a smile that looks forward to a lovely dinner.