I was supposed to be at work.

Fifteen years old-making money to

Purchase nifty items from the Fingerhut catalogue.

My step-mom got me the job

You know how that is.

She climbed her way up from

Feces wrangler to memory manager,

They trusted her word.


The old people, most of them,

Were very endearing. I might even miss

Their stories about Brooklyn,

REAL bagels and big jewels from The Shoa.

The ladies only bathed three times a week,

But wouldn’t be caught (almost) dead without

Some sparkle. Go, girls. (Gone Girls?)


Instead of sitting with my ankles crossed

Under the desk, asking how I could help-

Filing papers, using my syrupy voice to calm

The family members’ fears-

I was under the top bunk with a sweaty boy

Who always reeked of weed. I had no idea what that

Smell was, because I was raised right. He on the other hand,

Was a motherless child being taken care of by

Two well dressed Tse Tse flies.


He told me she was a housewife.

Sure. The kind that keep

Cocaine taped to the backs of the furniture.


I didn’t even feel it.

I just knew it was time to go home, so we stopped.

And then I saw it.

In between my legs like a bloody basketball.

When I made it to my house, the place was empty.

I waited for her outside.

She pulled up, upset that I wasn’t actually sick.

I didn’t even let her yell at me.

Only demanded to go to the hospital.

She refused.

My father would kill her, she said.

She was probably right.

I don’t think my uterus was ready for all the attention.

She slinked right on back up.

Suddenly, I was able to stand.


My doctor says if I want to have another baby,

Like, full term-I will need a mesh. No biggie.

Where was the mesh to keep the bad boys out.

The motherless ones, who wreck your chances of

Being a mother yourself?