The moment I figured out that I had talent in art,
I swore to myself I would never perform it if
it had anything to do with their benefit.
I can’t believe you’re asking me to do this –
even if you say that I’ll be doing it for you,
well, haha dear, it doesn’t work that way.
Didn’t you consider the process I’d have to go through?
You’d just be the mediator, and they’d still be the ones
benefiting from each pencil stroke, to each second
my eyes have strain over their faces, forever etching
their expressions into my head, leaving fresh scars.
Even if you say that they did nothing wrong to me –
that if there was a person they’d wronged, it was you.
That I should do this for you because you were always
there for me, because you never failed to deliver as my mother,
acting as both parents, well, haha dear, it doesn’t work that way.
Because them hurting you is a big sin against me.
My art is reserved for people I love and whom I felt
dedication and investment of time and effort from.
I never felt their dedication and investment towards
me because you had to keep following up their effort.
You tell me to put my pride down when they never did,
because his wife is dying, and that somehow should
exempt them from the rule, from my personal code,
from my emotions. From my already bruised ego –
which is all I ever really got from them.
Let me reject them just this once, in a way that matters
to me, like how they once rejected me, and somehow placed
that rejection on loop every time you’d ask for help in raising
me, which you never completely pursued in the hopes
of creating a tangible relationship that works between us
–which worked, technically. That tangible relationship that worked
for both of us is how I would define as “civil acquaintances” who
hugged twice or maybe thrice in the past 18 years they’ve known
each other. I thank my father for my 18 years of existence, but I
only have thanks for you for allowing me to live and continue living.
I hope you understand that, for me, they do not deserve to be dedicated
even the most casual sketch that I can whip up, or the most crammed
plate that I can produce. If you want a sketch by me to be dedicated to
them, expect that it will only work this way: I will only trace through paper
over my laptop screen to skip through the process of remembering their faces.
Much like how he skipped through the process of getting to know me.