The Punchline

Megan LeAnne

we held the term daddy issues like a stolen cigarette swiped from our mothers’ purses. she’d say oh, i only let him fuck me because my father doesn’t let me wear short skirts and we would all laugh, hike up our thigh-high socks and cross our knees a little tighter. i would say i could never trust a man because i only know my father by footsteps and phone calls and half-assed apologies and we would laugh again. we wore it close and crop-topped, this lack of care for our bodies. we thought that boys would find it sexy if we were broken, like it gave them less work to do. we wanted to make it easy, the coming and the going, the cumming and going, the practice of selfish lust. boys whose fathers held the term daddy issues like a metal of honor. tell the sons how to search for the gold, the girls with too much eyeliner and fishnet, not enough bible or choir clap. once a boy said he knew my father wasn’t there for me by how i cut off all my hair, by how i put needles through my belly button. i let him finger-bang me beneath the bleachers not six days later, all indelicate and trembling bone, scouring my body for the reasons my father walked away.


Megan LeAnne is a writer and teaching artist specializing in poetry and spoken word, prop performance, and movement arts. She currently resides in Nashville, TN and serves as a poet mentor for Southern Word, Nashville’s non-profit spreading literacy and performance skills through the vehicle of spoken word. Megan’s work has been featured in Calliope Magazine, MTSU’S Collage (winner best poem Fall 2016), Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, with forthcoming publications at The Write Launch and Talking Writing. Find her online at

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