I try to read into what he means
when he says
There are peppers in the window, still
attached to stamens, the roots of a leafy green
showing through a glass jar
I’m thinking of the little ones,
the babies that I pray for
in the morning, whether the sun is
behind a wall of grey
or bright on my tired face.
Yesterday, I snapped at a customer
who didn’t listen when I read back
and then wanted something else.
They always want something that isn’t
on the menu.
He makes me something
and I remember the last time I checked
on the garden,
half-heartedly picking at clovers and grass
grown tall in the little dirt square.
I forgive myself for clenching my fists
when I remember what day it is.
Be patient with mistakes.
The bathroom sink is always wet
from a leaky faucet.
I want what he’s having.
This reading into slow responses
wakes up the hungry.
All kinds of questions are moving through
the veins in my neck.
I answer them quickly
pray away the nightmares.
Tighten my mouth at how
they come back stronger.
Everything will be fine if I can learn
to stop listening