She studies her reflection in the c r a c k e d mirror
in the employees restroom
with dirt between the tiles and no toilet paper
("Please remember to wash your hands before starting work
and after using the restroom")

neon eye shadow matches her waitresses uniform
and bright red lipstick makes her smile b l e e d
while under-eye circles scream of late nights
spent rocking baby girl to sleep
(but at least they draw attention away
from the desperate kamikaze look in her eyes)
She's too tired to wash the make up off
before she goes back home to a no-name apartment complex
breathing in the odor of fresh graffiti and roach spray
She jiggles the busted doorknob and steps over the stain in the bedroom
(it helps to pretend it's nail polish)
where baby is crying in the crib ignored by thirteen year old Miss Responsible babysitter
sprawled across the couch staring blankly at the broken TV
(funny how whenever she comes over the whole place smells like p o t
but her mother doesn't know Little Angel's secret
and no one has any intentions of telling)
Later on her makeup comes off on its own
caked on eye shadow and mascara mix together
brokenspirittragedy running down her face
as baby tries to catch her tears
(even that young, baby knew something was wrong
when she felt Mommy's heartbeat s t o p)