By Real Momma
“I’d rather be homeless than work at Burger King,” she said as she sipped her mocha latte’, “For real, who would want to work there?” She laughed at something she saw on her phone.
“Well, I’m not paying one hundred dollars for your pair of jeans.”
“What? But mom you have a job, what’s a hundred bucks to you?”
Shannon shook her head. “You have no idea how much.”
Cadence gasped as she read a text. “Oh my gosh I have to go.” She got up and held out her hand, “So can I have that hundred?”
I see you. I get it. The long hair stranded in two braids. Lonely for each other, they parted ways after the split. I see you waiting. By the counter, ordering coffee, you twirl the edge of your skirt around your little finger. Bubblegum lipstick and dark eye liner. You’re in your fifties, but you still feel fifteen.
“Can I have more sugar?” You look at the glass jar next to the cream. It’s almost as empty as your coat pockets when you say you have no change. It’s the change that you’re always waiting for.
By Francis DiClemente
While walking on the Syracuse University campus on a blustery April day, a female student passes by me on a path. A smartphone is pressed to her ear and she says,
“I was in a room of about six people and I pulled it out and he started sucking on my tit right there.”
She continues walking down the path while I move in the opposite direction. I do not hear the rest of her conversation but I wonder who was on the other end of the phone.
And then I think: “Gosh, it must have been some party.”
12:25 p.m. March 25, 2015
You were tall. Impossibly so. Towering behind me, I heard your voice before I saw you. I felt the sharpness of your words.
“Tall coffee,” you said. “No cream.”
By the starch in your button down and the crease in your slacks, I knew you’d take it black. Stiff, no nonsense, you didn’t move out of the way when I reached for a napkin. Instead you stood still, as if the world wasn’t spinning. As if the rest of us weren’t even there.
2:10 P.M. Monday, March 23rd.
She is obviously pregnant. Not the polite kind of pregnant that tries to hide behind over-stuffed purses or shopping bags. She is the ostentatious kind, pressed against tight red spandex. When she breathes, her belly—no longer her stomach—protrudes proudly. The word belly sounds silly and gentle. Infantile and almost condescending. This used to be her body part. Now she is part child.