For example, there were holes
in my mother’s faded blue jeans, the edges frayed
like the uncombed hairs lining her forehead.
This is how she answered the door.
For example, the contents of our refrigerator:
beer, an onion, three Capri Suns, and milk,
expired four days. The sky in my drawing
hung black at the top of the freezer
because there were no sky-colored crayons.
Our walls didn’t have pictures. What they did have
were cockroaches. I wasn’t old enough to be afraid
so I made a game of folding mail into paper planes,
aiming for the poor ugly things.
The corner behind the kitchen table
looked like an airport.
For example, I puffed on my inhaler
and watched the unnamed smoke creep
under my bedroom door as the music and
the loud voices boomed down the hall.
I knew never to call 911.
For example, I remember my mother
sitting on the sofa at night
doing coke and listening to Alicia Keys
by the glow of the TV. We slow danced to it.
Those were my favorite kind of nights.