What I imagine Mom wants me to say:
“Guess what Mom? I took your advice
and started right after school.
You can come look in ten.”
On my way to my room, I stop
at the table and straighten a flower
in her cobalt crystal vase,
wiggle my fingers at her
What I want to say:
“Well until you sweep your own
demon dust bunnies out from
under your bed, I ain’t cleaning it.”
I see myself snap a triangle in the air,
go outside, smoke.
What I do say:
Sauntering toward my room,
I pull a flower from a vase
slide it behind my ear, and await
What Mom says:
“Whatever means the same thing as F-you.”
(She can’t even say the word.)
“Rolling your eyes does, too.
Don’t push me tonight, you will not win.
I am tired, and I will only say it one more time.”