Working With Má
I can smell the dough baking two bridges over the highway intersection.
A beaten down building “For Lease”.
Bodies dressed in black rush to tables:
Sauvignon Blanc, Chateu St. Michelle Riesling, Oyster Bay,
some Peach Belinis, Classico Margaritas, and Sangria—you know these well
Us waiters have had our break,
the cooks have been working since 7:30A.M.
I clock in at 5:32P.M.—the 70A was late
and I did not run across the highway as fast as usual.
Saturday, twenty-second of July—if you remember
—, Mom’s birthday:
She is in the kitchen of the restaurant making salads.
It has been twelve hours,
four more to go and she can eat.
Undocumented Chapped lips opening wounds,
loss of saliva, maybe the refusal to drink like the others
Mom is ready to faint in front of the guests.
At 11:00P.M., she will walk to the white minivan,
run her pointer fingers on her forehead,
praying to La Virgen Maria.
Her black hat, stained in cactus-shaped tomato sauce, will come off,
and her black ponytail will release wild curls
covered in the black Pantene hair dye of the month.
The key will turn, and she will drive two exits,
right turn to get out, sharp, sharp left, and a right,
two miles later, we will be home.
She has to work at 8:00A.M. tomorrow, you know