What Happened This Morning

By: Gaby Kill

they say you don't know what goes on behind closed doors,
and once I slam one getting out of my car I'm not sure I know either
going from ...that, to a shift, is a shift to be sure
I'm left shaking, the routine bittersweet cure
is work
swept into service, stacking Sierra mist refills I build walls between me and critical thoughts, no stops
but the sickly saccharine way I whisper
nothing happened
blink my server syrup eyes
that didn’t happen
shooting stomach pain
Sure, I’ll make it happen!
I clocked in so late today but if I ring tickets
and wash dishes
and draw blood from broken cups maybe my bruises will mix with red wine enough to stop
getting looks
it's exhausting.
Whose laughter is more nervous,
Mine? Or my coworker’s?
I don’t know
dodging eye contact like flashbacks
They do
don’t ask, it
Hey girl!
And yet
what happened this morning?
A soft prayer my manager would just guess
But under my caked concealer and cherry eyes he just sees dessert service
I'm sorry Matt.
Painting a smile seems impossible these days but so is telling the truth
either I'll be there before six or another sour scar will,
scored knuckles from knife sorting and people pleasing like it's my job
yet, at home I never clock in
Pull off my apron along with my mask,
My nonslip shoes that sound off on the floorboards.
I work there for a living. I work here to survive