There is no luxury in waking up,
these are the days of no heat and no hot water,
I dress in the toothpaste stained shirt that says
cvs pharmacy. There is
no snow, there is little romance but I make it appear
like a dehydrated person sees water in a desert.
Christmas music is interrupted by ads declaring that we sell postage stamps.
The racist man with the huge ears comes in,
he wishes me a merry.
I say thank you, ring his stuff out frantically.
He says you'd look so much prettier if you smiled,
I grit my teeth, promised to God I won’t say anything but
Merry Christmas.
I hold his flimsy bags out to him, arranging my fingers delicately so that they won't graze his.
(I am the art of getting by.)
If I had said Feliz Navidad I could have pissed him off more,
I think as soon as he walks out the magic doors.  Too late.
“We're in america” he'd say
but the Americas are two continents
and in my head I am in dream land or the north pole or something.
My family is making our once a year tamales right now and my mom is allowing Frank Sinatra music, another once a year occurrence.
Sometimes the sacrifice doesn’t feel worth it,
but it will be. 

Deli comes in, his words slurring together like each one is a domino falling on the other
unfortunately, he's still understandable
he walks two feet in front of me
“give me a hug baby girl”
arms outstretched
I smile, wave but
I will break if he touches me.