You climb six lonely sets of stairs to your apartment after another graveyard shift in the cold dull light of morning.
You walked in just in time to catch her as she's leaving but the schedules and the conflicts kept the roof over our heads.
You said you were strong and naive and if you were scared, well, I would understand.
I don't think I would have had the guts to handle it.
All we had were hand-me-downs.
All we had was good will and you always said it would get better.
"When you're young and you're poor, they hang on your failures."
You always said it would get better.
I'm sick of seeing ghosts. I won't be here forever.
We bought our first house at the advent of the 90s-- a Cape Cod on a busy street
that we swore we'd fix eventually.
Winter of '93, we got by with kerosene-- a heater in the living room we huddled around shivering and me trying to get to sleep.
My clothes will smell of smoke for weeks. Just trying to get to sleep.
My mother wore a sundress on the day that she got married.
They held the wedding in a backyard near the city. I was just one then.
I would never remember it but I heard the voices and implications telling me who I could never be.