you’re that detached, controlling lover,
whose eyes follow me everywhere
and remind me that i need you. i wish
that i didn’t have to rely on you so much,
and that i could make decisions without
consulting you. you warn me that to keep our
relationship steady, i need to make sacrifices.
i need to think about us.
late at night, this makes sense to me.
you’re everything, but you’re nothing.
in the thick of expensive cigar smoke,
i noticed your clarks and wondered–
maybe i’d be better at math
if everyday calculations were less troubling.
$12 in my jean pocket
(because jeans go with everything)
and i rummage through goodwill sales
where cute black tennis shoes are only $7.99
(i wish i had a pair)
and beautiful blouses for my new job are $10.99
(because unfortunately, dress to impress)
shit, a shirt or the shoes?
i leave goodwill with the shoes and blouses in memory–
i’m running low on soap and tampons are more expensive
than they should be.
$12 in my ripped bag
(i just haven’t had the money to replace it)
while at target i remember that i should get a pillow
(i’ve learned to sleep without one, but still)
and i see the most beautiful choker:
coral, white, and silver crystals hang like
chandeliers, a serene luxury–12.99.
i leave target with only self-reflection–
i have slept without a pillow for over a month now,
and i need to pay my coworker back.
the cigar smoke couldn’t mask your class.
and when you whispered that you scored a
great deal–chocolate for only $12!
i couldn’t help but wonder who’s better at math.