I want to disentangle the image I see of me,
anger parked behind my teeth
like a tire on top of the curb –
the loud, gritty crunch
of asphalt enamel twisting under the weight of it,
crouched on the tip of my tongue,
a tile tiger propped against the wall,
an art deco mural: The Splendor of Rage.
from what you see:
busy weekend grocery store,
a mother with children in tow
directing traffic with tired hands,
reasoning with the list and the purse and the mommy-I-wants and
the squeaking wheel on the cart
that pulls like magic your eyes to mine,
curls of hair, unwashed, unbrushed
batter at yesterday’s mask
and you clear the air.
One long look from the tips of my work boots
to the emptiness in my eyes
and I see a light that could proposition a nun.
I see a light that could be the very death of this life.
I see a light that I know is temptation
and this isn’t a desert,
it’s a goddamn Food Lion.
And I am tempted.
I am wanted.
I am seen.
© Laura A. Lord, 2021
Thank you to MindLoveMisery for the prompt.