The open shed on the lawn's far side stinks of gasfrom the hateful mower that pulls me where it wantswhen I mow, which is seldom. I rip up grass.Humid night's moon's nothing-halo; the lawn pretendsto candy floss. Black-white dud roses dead since June,alive enough to scratch my bare legs. I'm wearing nothingbut underpants, flipflops. Arms full, I stumble out,flashlight in my mouth, turn my head to choosewhat's lit. Inside the dirt-floor shed, I fill bowls:Dry bits, tuna slop. The flashlight hurts my mouthtill I drop it, dwindles into its cone where it falls to blighta denticular leaf. "Raphael! Gabriel! Lucifer!" Feralkittens come running, vicious, filthy. Hum of the road.Uriel shines his reflector-eyes from among mower partsin the shed's darkest corner. Disgust shakes his paw.He won't get close since wild La Mamma ran off weeks ago.My three-month daughter cries on the baby monitorI wear like a Miss America sash. She'll wait,Uriel must eat. Can't leave them. Coons or coyoteswould get the food and kittens too. My fur riseson my arms. What a bad mom! Also, I refuseto look at the stars. There are too manystars in poems you have to get drunk to write.
By Daisy Fried