The Resemblance of Lopsided Appendages


Every time I start to forget
I was your daughter I look down
at the skew-whiff knobs of my
fingers, each wonky digit sprawled
out toward their stubborn
destinations: three spindling
to constellations above my head, four
peeking outside the window
at the arrival of a magnetic
breeze, the rest angling forward
to things I can’t see yet. Years
later and the sandalwood
scent of your seven-pocket vest
has faded. Your tiered and teary
laugh has grown faint. But you
are still there when I hand over
a twenty to the lady behind
the register of 7-11, when I point
at protest flashing on the news, when
I chop onions, toss them
into a warm beef stew, all the while
wondering whether grandma was
right when she said you were watching
from heaven or whether I believe
a former lover as he caressed my
hair saying honey, when we dead
we dead. When all that is left of you
is the bullheadedness of my
knuckles flaring from the daintiest
of wrists, I don’t know
if I understand the science
of inheritance all that much. When
all that is left of a father are ten
hardy extensions from two
palms, one will not wonder too long
whether the cap of a ketchup bottle
will open, if one’s eyes ever need
to look away, whether one
will ever again be blindsided by touch.

Anna Teresa Slater

Anna Teresa Slater is a teacher from Iloilo, Philippines. She completed her postgraduate degree in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Anna’s work is published in Channel Lit Mag, Ghost City Review, Shot Glass Journal, The Literary Nest, Door is a Jar, Song of Eretz Poetry Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Porcupine Lit, Nine Muses Poetry, and more, as well as in anthologies by Kasingkasing Press and Hedgehog Poetry Press. The eBook version of her first poetry collection, ‘A Singular, Spectacular Chore’ (Kasingkasing Press) was released in November 2020, with the print version forthcoming. Website: