Friday, May 6, 2011

The House on Orange

My fake blond beauty sits, on the curb, head on her knees.
Open the back door, get into the car. Please get into the car. Please get into the car.
Get into the car.
Can you stand? Can you crawl?
Sway against the car, mascara smears, matted hair and a bruise on her collarbone,
visible through the tear in her shirt tell me more than I want to know
but not enough that I need to know.
Do I need to know?
Does it matter, will it make a difference if I know what nightmares are coming?
She curls into a ball across the back seat, thumb in her mouth,
as if she was still 18 months and not 18 years old.
The more things change the more they remain the same. Trite but too true.
Don't waste your breath apologizing, I know you're sorry, ever so sorry for everything,
for fucking up, for getting into trouble, for costing me so much in time and energy and money
and some parents would say the money is the last of it but they don't know.
This is just another 5 a.m. emergency pickup after too few hours of sleep and
if it takes too long and I'm not at work on time I'll be terminated, no questions or explanations.
The job market takes no prisons and gives no ransom.
Any absences or lateness are automatic cancellation and I don't know whether I'm more afraid of that,
of losing this crappy job with the only redeeming quality that it keeps us from homelessness for a few more months or if I'm more afraid that I'm not going to have a daughter to scream at any longer for being a stupid fucking idiot who is wrecking her life with her self-destructive behavior, that this emergency pickup will end in some city-run, Medicaid accepting hospital instead of a ride home and soaking her clothes to get the vomit smell out.
I just don't know.
I don't know anything, ever.
I make a U turn and head for home.

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