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Last Rites

Daddy’s girls live on Daddy’s toes 

Swollen mushrooms shoved daily into muddy shoes. 

Feel so tall, like they could trace the popcorn on the sky 

And hungry with desperate hands 

Clenching air 

and unclenching 

and clenching air 

and unclenching. 


Daddy’s girls are taken by eighth notes 

Air alight with neon sonic verse. 

Feel so ethereal, like glass slippers and clocks striking twelve 

And pride with shaking hands 

Calloused palms embracing the camera recorder. 


Daddy’s girls enter alternate worlds beneath cotton throws 

Eyes wide open and waterfalls raging. 

Feel so wishful, like lightly stepping on lake ice 

And self comforting with bright red hands 


and wishing 

and wallowing 

and wishing. 


Daddy’s girls cannot leave on daddy’s toes 

Leave Daddy inside white walls beneath white sheets. 

Feel so lost, like a toddler suffocated by mirrors 

And clutching Mommy’s weak hands 

Departing from the departed, only his phone 

and his glasses 

and his keys 

in the car. 


Daddy’s girls exist like browning vines 

Do all they can to stay alive and evade nourishment. 

Feel so parasitic, like the thing itself that did the taking 

And porcelain hands gift Daddy with flowers 

Tracing his name 

and tracing his name 

and tracing. 

BayLee Wetzel Author Image_edited.jpg

BayLee Wetzel

BayLee Wetzel is a senior majoring in English with a double minor in Creative Writing and Spanish. She enjoys reading and writing poetry and works of fiction, and she one day hopes to have published novels upon novels. When not writing, BayLee spends time with her family and cats, plays video games, or scrolls for too long on TikTok. 

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