After that time my father kidnapped us, all of our custody exchanges
happened in the police station parking lot.

My sister and I were passed back and forth from backseats.
Our parents like school children who couldn’t share their toys.

I don’t think there was a single time my father left before us:
craning his head over his shoulder until we were out of sight.

He was tethered to the parking space under the streetlights,
growing shadows under his car as we drove away.

car sad down uncertain girl
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

That particular Sunday, did he celebrate with a beer
cracking open on an empty playground?

And was California’s weather warmer
than the love of his daughters?

Driving away from my father that night, waiting
for Thursday to bring us back again,

I had no idea
it was the last time.




Amanda KarwelAmanda Karwel graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She started writing in high school when a good friend who wrote poetry suggested she try it out. While looking for a way to use her degree, she works at a country club serving cocktail weenies to rich people.


Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on, Facebook, or Tumblr.

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