Life and death begins on the corner of South State Street.
Born with a black tray and sticky fingers in a room full of strangers.
It’s time to play the part always wearing a smiling face.
Behind the bar they are working and I am serving a room full of broken glasses.
I’m waiting for the tip and the voice of my manger to say it’s time for you to move on.
Everyday wiping down a new table and brushing my fears back while beer drips down my sides.
If I keep moving maybe I’ll be fast enough
Or I may die on the corner of South State Street.
I try to glue my dreams together with sticky lime juice fingers.
Hoping it will be enough to keep the performance in line.
From time to time I sit outside watching smoke from my cigarette spreading through the air.
Although I try to blow out all of the inner hate the wind catches my breath
And I breathe it in like morphing cancer
When the time finally comes for me to make my way back inside I stare at my cigarette butt in the dumpster
And think of how all the trash would make a great bed for a homeless person.
© 2013 Erica Morris
The Big Windows Review 5 (Fall 2013)