There is a welling up inside,
like the day’s rain,
just waiting to happen.
You spill coffee
on the overly scotch-guarded chairs
at the mammogram station.
You say station because you belly up,
or breast up, to the machine,
while the technician fills the room
with talk of non-essential topics.
You squeeze your eyes,
she squeezes your breasts,
like a bartender crushing a lime in your drink.
You tarry along to the car dealership.
You pray your son turns out
as pleasant and attentive as
Travis, the service manager.
You avoid eye contact,
not for fear of him thinking
you are cougar-like,
but tears will fall if you meet human eyes.
It is only hormones, you tell yourself,
and telegraph that thought
to the woman seated beside you.
You want her to know you have regrets
about everything right now –
your parents’ care,
communication in your marriage,
leaving the dog without walking him,
starting to write a new novel
without finishing the last,
leaving your character “Celia”
When Travis displays your filthy car filter,
you hold it in no longer.
Tears stream down. He is appalled,
Perhaps never having had
girlfriend or mom.
You excuse yourself, pay for the transgressions
then scurry out into the rain.
While in the grocery store, you spot a friend’s car.
You debate, knowing your fragile state,
whether to seek her out.
But there she is, with her mother,
lingering in the peanut butter aisle.
You greet each other and hug.
You discuss Love Cake
and its simplicity.
You turn away to find the hard stuff,
as close to religion as you come on this day.
you cannot locate the cheese,
you forget to pick out leafy greens,
coveted because you cannot stand
a bland dinner table.
With one open hand still remaining,
you reach into the cooler,
a breeze penetrating your hot skin,
and swipe off the shelf
a six-pack of bottled beer.