Sewed my own. Wedding dress. Simple. Cheap. Way you see. Me. Sitting in the corner. Frowned up. Mad. You settled. Skinny black girl. Short. Nappy hair. Baby belly. Wanna fight.
Wish I had. Rubber band arms. Hug you. Standing downstairs. Gonna fix something. Good. Fried chicken. Mashed potatoes. Brown gravy. Homemade biscuits. Know how it feels. Want a prize—get a turd.
Bring you beer. Take a sip. Throw the can. Splatter suds. All over my dress. It’s ok. Been living off. Crumbs. Long time.
You. My husband. Now. Going downstairs. Fix dinner.
Hustling. Drinking. Fighting. Is your thing. Blind in one eye. Messing 'round
Lil' Agnes. Cracked your skull. Almost died. Too stubborn. Let life go easy.
Pulled the IVs out. Your scabby arms. Took the city bus here. Damn boy.
Breaks me down. See you so far gone. Take out a blunt. Smoke it all. Trying to say.
The words. I SURRENDER. So get up. Off my couch. Close the door. Don’t come
back. On cue. You unzip your skin. Shake dew. From rose petal limbs. Bathe me in
perfume. One thousand buds. Burst into bloom. You’re beautiful. Fills the room. Spills
into the hallway. Makes Ruby Jewel. Knock on the door. Pay back the ten dollars. She