Before my birthday

by Tyrel Kessinger


I tell my daughter I am getting old. She asks if I’m going to die because we’ve told her only old things die. Not for a long time I tell her, a hopeful pseudo-truth with parameters of time and countless possibilities that she can’t possibly understand yet. Good, she says, back to her construction paper and scissors and glitter glue, the conversation a fresh intake of data that will not become useful or relevant until she is older if ever at all. I want her to ask me if I’d come back, even if I did die, even if I was old. If she did I’d tell her wild horses, kid. Wild horses. I’d wink to let her in on the joke but she wouldn’t be looking.


Tyrel Kessinger is a stay-at-home dad of two wild animals. His work can be found at Gargoyle, Triggerfish Critical Review, Straylight, and forthcoming from Washington Square Review, Red Rock Review, Atticus Review, and Typehouse. He also serves time as Poetry Editor for Great Lakes Review.



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