Their condescending tone is the root of the problem
they don’t understand
they don’t get eye fatigue from reading tedium
grow cold as they wait hours for their bus ride home
scatter possessions trying to find bus tickets
They can work a fast food joint
without familiar panic surfacing
worrying they’ll make it wrong
can’t keep up
not fast enough
the signs for a reminder
a manager to ask
the managers anyway
register buttons blur
seek respite in the quiet breakroom
only dare to take two minutes
lest they discover
—“you aren’t getting paid just to stand there”–
—“alright, you really need to work on speed”–
can’t discern the exit
can’t hit escape
can’t quell anxiety
too expensive to keep
not worth staying
After work in the late August sunshine, I crouch, exhausted. I wait for my ride home.
I can feel the cold cement below me.
I can smell juniper.
I can taste the pickle, pepperjack, chicken and bun flavors playing on my tongue.
I can hear cicadas singing in the trees, far above the red roof.
I love that sound.