born behind wire gates, 
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
should have

she mothers
with this in mind.
and would
want you 
believe that
her suffering
means nothing
despite its
shingle hanging
above everything

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.


had i gassed up last night

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.