I am alone.
Sixty six cents jingles in my pocket from a discounted meal at work,
where the waitresses are all smiles
and in the kitchen I am slowly learning to speak better Spanish.
Restaurant drama plagues me some days and others amuses,
but it is insubstantial,
a sideshow to what beckons beyond May and red and black balloons on a summer football field.
I came home looking for a self-promised nap and a crossword,
but the crossword is absent and leaves me empty
like some consciously ignored addiction, smoking away on the inside,
smiling wanly at the feigned surprise when it finally is revealed.
My nap falls by the wayside to slumber in the graveyard of a thousand other
most prominent headstone reading
“I will go to the gym tonight.”
I am older.
Older like the tired, flippant waitresses who have befriended and befamilied me.
I smile at the symbolism of my life;
a yo-yo curled and still by the sprawled pattern of my sixty six cents on the kitchen table
littered with newspapers, college letters, a magazine of poetry, and my solitary fork and plate,
evidence of my inconsistency.
I am tired
but yesterday I was alive.
Yesterday still blooms with its memory of sweet youth,
irrepressible in its irresponsibility and delight
as we whored ourselves to the disobliging stars,
daring them to conquer our beflowered and quick-witted adolescence,
and they, uninterested and wisely solemn, turned away,
perhaps watching some war-capped dusty nation,
and we returned to our good-humored villainy,
dancing like heathens ‘neath the cold mask of night.
-Kaitlyn Medina [2/24/08]