Aug 15


by Bud Smith

while you’re in the bathroom
taking the pregnancy test
behind the aquamarine
bathroom door
you’ll be in a separate world
of white porcelain tiles
medicines that can’t cure you
mirrors reflected in mirrors
I’ll be out here barefoot
on the orange hardwood floor
folding t-shirts with pinhole burns
from welding
my black socks that don’t match
no matter what
and my underwear
which I’m not gonna discuss here
because I’m a very private person

I do this folding
as if it could be the deciding factor
and save our lives
so each fold is 110% critical
like I didn’t just work in the prison laundry
and my work is very quiet
not even a breath
from me or the city
I’m listening
very closely
first for the toilet to flush
for your sudden unrestrained crying
as it comes sliding
out from underneath the bathroom door
and then
I’ll know
what that means
for us.