she, born behind wire gates, was pushed down then up and through salted earth. left over, left behind wondering if she could have done anything to be seen as valuable as her siblings. family is made to feel like a luxury item that she does not deserve but will serve in the place parents should have stood. she mothers with this in mind. and would want you believe that her suffering means nothing despite its shingle hanging above everything else. my mother loads up her words like a freight train, red hot coals throw up steam and we sweat keeping her car on the rails.
i can’t walk fast enough back to my car so that my pulse can return to baseline and avoiding the sharks that follow at a short distance has made my white knuckles ache. even now wrapped around my steering wheel they painfully bloom back into pink calmness as I watch parking pirates attack each other for berths close to Costco.
6:37 AM on-ramp leads to an endless string of red lights. a blinking high speed stop and go of seasonally staccato s-turns. my caffeine is wasted on this nose to tail chase. mid sip, over the rim of my cup, a million glowing back-lit reminders of order look like embers burning wick to keg. and not suddenly Wednesday implodes. i freaking hate this commute. both hands slam down hard in sync with my cloistered wails. too hot, so i turn down the heat. i need sedation. taking a sip i turn up the music. turn down heat. change channel. turn on wipers, turn down heat, turn up music. check watch, check watch … and then that song, why now, why again? the dash display whiplashes me into first gear thinking and the caffeine ignites. the gas gauge teeters, like me. almost empty. like me. my head cracks open. what a mess. now find a gas station. 6:38 AM.