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From the other side of the wall I hear the woman who could just as easily be me in my bathroom repeating I am forty forty I am forty like a rehearsal for the next man who will ask her age the way a mother must remind herself your son is a homeless drug addict your son is your son is a homeless drug addict your son until it becomes real & she can pretend that this day can be different from the one that came before or that will come after her in those moments before sleep when she hears thunder & pictures him chin-up in a mummy bag in that city park where last night she had his dinner delivered to him & felt the earth spin even further out of control & her life she is sure is at least half over though he doesn’t even have a mummy bag just a pair of sweats a t-shirt a ratty blanket & she convinces herself this is his last meal.
Lisa Fay Coutley’s books include tether (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). She is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and Associate Professor of Poetry & Creative Nonfiction at the University of Nebraska Omaha Writer’s Workshop.
Copyright 2020 Lisa Fay Coutley.