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disengaged disengaged
 
either or either or
 
 
prodigal prodigal
 
unnoticed, watching youunnoticed, watching you
 
like theselike these
 
shoesshoes
 
twilighttwilight
 

never Mother, unless I was angry,
shouting it as an expletive cut short.
Which is what I want to yell now, with
blank screen before me, like the first light I saw-
not a sunrise, but the hospital lights between your thighs
after how many hours of labor?-
light so full of possibilities:

       "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
       "A writer, Mom."

Blank pages! And with blank checks needing to be filled
with money I don't have! Should I eat or pay rent?
You always let me eat, three fish sticks with mayo,
one spoonful of mac and cheese, but not the stewed tomatoes.
You ate those.

       "Why don't you want to be a doctor anymore?"
       "I dunno. I just don't want to. I like to write."

And now I feed the blank pages, one by one,
into the printer (it doesn't auto-feed; I still have the one
you bought me in high school). Presto! Like magic, my words -
my words- come screaming out! Remember when I wanted to be
a magician and I made the plastic knife disappear from
under my McDonald's napkin?
You smiled and clapped, and didn't
say you were proud, but I know you were.

 

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