The **** Monster energy hoodie
She wears every day,
Her hair swept back in a greasy mess,
A knife with a mushy handle
That was left in the sanitizing water too long
As she gingerly dices lettuce.
She always gets quiet when she criticizes me.
I’m just trying to earn my minimum wage,
But she had a bad day at home,
So she’ll find fault in whatever I’m doing.
Go home and fall asleep,
It’s only 10am,
My sheets are fresh,
And my clothes aren’t.
Then he calls me and tells me to wake up.
The kitchen has miniature milky ways
floating around in the sunlight dripping from the windows,
It smells like dinner from yesterday
My mother is still wearing her maroon bathrobe,
Her hair is a tangled halo framing her face in imperfect curls,
She’s sorting the spices.
She doesn’t understand why I’m unable to keep up with her busy chatter.
It’s a habit to repeat what I must do to stay alive to myself,
As if I’m both child and mother, giving a list of instructions and dragging my feet to follow.
“Brush your teeth,”
“Wash your face,”
“Take a shower,”
“You haven’t eaten yet today,”
“Go to sleep,”
“Talk to your friends,”
“Pay your bills,”
“Go to work,”
“Don’t go back to sleep,”
“No alcohol before 5pm.”
Somehow, keep going.
My evenings are spent
With my hands tenderly ******* the long neck
Of a beer bottle.
My lips pursed,
Kissing the brim
And savoring every golden drop.
I try to distract myself from the absence of company,
Tell myself I like to be alone.
I go to sleep alone,
I try to fill up
The part of my bed he should be in,
And not think about it.
The cotton covers wrapped around me
In mindless sleep.
And it all starts again.