My mother is waiting to die in her sleep.
Her brain has been scrubbed clean.
I struggle to trust this renovation.
My 90-year-old mother lives alone in
a row of condos that resemble army barracks.
She is surrounded by counters covered,
closets overstuffed, piles, boxes
leave little room for her to move about.
It’s the kind of place where middle class
New York Jews go to live with disappointment.
Looking forward to the Early Bird Specials,
they wait to die, just not yet.
I hear babies crying
sun barely set
babies crying in the alley
Mother says I am bad
says I take advantage of her
what does that mean?
I eat supper in the bathroom
cold tile floor feels yummy
against my bare legs
toilet seat is my table
scrambled eggs are cold
I push them around the plate
lose my appetite
crying babies in the alley
I lie in bed in my underwear
My room an oven
No milk and cookies
just me wishing
I could fall asleep
babies cry in the alley
Mother says they’re cats
I don’t know any cats
they sound sad
Maybe they are starving too