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  • To the boys who may one day date my daughter:

  • I have been waiting for you. Since before her birth,

  • since before my spark took hold and ignited the fire in her mother's belly,

  • I have been training to kill you.

  • When you took your first steps, I was preparing to make it

  • so you never walked again. When you played at war

  • I was perfecting my headshots. You can't catch up at this point.

  • And when you first meet my daughter and fall in love with the look she sends over

  • her shoulder, her crescent moon eyes framing her laughing

  • smile, you are going to want to talk to her.

  • And when those hours pass by like sprinters during that first timeless conversation

  • you will also know, with a deep and impending sense of dread,

  • that you are going to have to talk to me.

  • When you first come to my home and see the bone carving over my threshold,

  • try not to imagine your own femurs so expertly carved.

  • Pay no attention to my ample crawlspace, my room with the rubber mat and drain.

  • Be careful only to approach me with love for my daughter.

  • See, I have been seeding her childhood with tap root hugs to weed out indifference

  • and apathy. There will be no daddy issues

  • for your teenaged talons to latch upon.

  • If you break her heart, I will hear it snap

  • with the ear I pressed against her mother's belly.

  • The elbow I cradled her head in will send a message to my fist.

  • My cheeks are attuned to her lips, I will know if they tremble.

  • I have taught her that a man should never hit a woman.

  • Now, her mother would add that you really shouldn't ever hit anybody,

  • but I have taught her that a man should NEVER HIT A WOMAN!

  • Consider my genes a mark of Cain, you will suffer seven times whatever you do

  • to her. And she will not keep your secret,

  • you can't make fire feel afraid.

  • I have been teaching her love all of her life, and all that I ask is that you continue the

  • lesson. Love her, befriend her, protect her.

  • Be there when I can't. And when my body gives up to the grave

  • let the grin that eternity carves into my face

  • be a reflection of the peace that your love brings to her,

  • and we should get along just fine.


  • To the girls who may one day date my daughter:

  • My wife is a better shot than I am.

To the boys who may one day date my daughter:

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