Author: Marisa McGrath

Woman. Millennial Misfit. Brave in my sensitivity and insecure about my own softness. Instagram: @marisa.mcgrath Email:

The Anti-racist Cheat Sheet

Resources for white people to educate themselves on anti-racism.

Another 5.5

Lapping your lips from afar doesn’t do anything.

I don’t have use for an interpersonal bored game,

A contact-less tete-a-tete.

I want you to devour me like a starving man does cake,

Stare me down like a dessert walker does a body of water,

and then baptize yourself.

Gorge yourself.

Feral and savage and clumsy.

Go ahead.

I’m saying yes.

Translating my dad’s language

“I love you,”

My dad’s mouth struggles to say it.

Not from ailment or illness.

He learned love as a parent loving you enough to withhold, insult, isolate.

“I love you, and so I make you better in informing you how useless you currently are.”

I wonder how many times he translated “selfish” to “potential” or “worthless” to “worthy”, only that I never want my loved ones to translate everything I tell them.

That’s the thing about being an adult with a living parent, we notice the ghosts that haunted them throughout our childhoods. Parent melt from horrible to human.

He is sixty-five now, and age has softened the harsh corners of his language. He calls he every Sunday, and if he doesn’t say it, I say it first.

“I love you.” my mouth, an operatic megaphone to those words. “I love you. I see you. I’m proud of you”. I say them to him, the words my dad longed to hear from his dad.

The Spotting

The sight of you is a dead nerve,

No longer a jolt,

A pulse,

An fiberoptic memory bleaching the rest of my day.

You are an observation now—a flicker, a moment. 

Your name no longer rushes to the surface of my tongue. Sometimes I forget us all together.

But never the feeling when my forehead pressed against yours. Fingers laced together, a gate to the universe between us. Those exhales made a whole language, a truth AJ don’t doubt even now. That gold you gave me never dulls.