Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read “Yachts” by Mark Baumer.
At breakfast, before he ate his single slice of dry toast, my father would sometimes try to pray, but more often he turned to talking to his reflection in the chrome toaster. One morning I heard him ask his own reflection if I would grow into anything more than an ugly prince, a cripple, and a balled-up photograph in a stained t-shirt.
When he talked about me, my childhood, and my lack of genitalia he struggled to say the words. I was seven weeks old and my dick had left for South America. At the time, my young brain could not understand this. My dick did not say or wave goodbye. The morning after he left I found a scrap of yellow legal pad taped to my groin. It read, “I want to be a fascist dictator. I want it all.” I envisioned a figure shouting, ordering the unarmed shot dead, and it felt like my dick was responsible for every atrocity in the modern world.