“The Invitation from My Shower” by Tracey Knapp

When I floss my teeth, it’s an accomplishment.
I await the invitation from my shower.
I’ve worn holes though my favorite cat shirt,

but I bought an extra one just in case. I smell bad,
but I like it, kind of like the former lover years ago
who crawled in my bed after closing hour,

and he stunk so good. Deodorant
unapparent, Ramones’ covers, cigarettes
and beer sweat. Bar funk. Yesterday,

I watched a man sleep in his Ford SUV
at the 7-11 until he woke up and saw me, threw
his lotto tickets out of the window and drove away.

I usually wake up in cat fur. I cradle my laptop
in my bed ‘til the happy pills kick in. At night,
I sometimes call my brother, moping about being alone.

To be clear: alone. Not lonely. I told
my friend Jeffrey I live alone with two housecats
and a sink full of dishes all wanting attention.

He compared me to Angie, who bought him
a cake on his last day of work and he hasn’t
called me back. Who needs him? Me. Once

he said I had fortune cookies in my bra and we laughed
and cried. What would be my luck? He would hate
that I miss him. My mask on the rearview mirror covered in cats.

Tracey Knapp is a poet living in Berkeley, CA. She works in communications and graphic design. Knapp’s first full-length collection of poems, Mouth, was published by 42 Miles Press. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Poetry Daily, RattleFive Points, San Diego Poetry Annual,and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has work forthcoming in the anthology Sh!t Men Say to Me: A Poetry Anthology in Response to Toxic Masculinity.

Find her on Instagram at @twistier and Twitter at @traceyknappsf.

Image: “Vase” by Anthony Burt

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