1989 hits me hard and hates
how I eat my clementines
like I'm sucking the life out of them.
I say fuck you a little too loudly. 1989 hates
that even more, how I swear, and how
I sometimes swear while I'm praying. The sun
rises before I'm ready for it, but look,
I'm born in a fit of bricks
and concrete.

1990 calls me on the phone and I take
the call by accident. The porch makes me
shiver and there's a bottle of Pepsi
on the floor that I want to open. My cat's grinding
her teeth by the cellar stairs and I'm speaking
through a tin can, and my sister thinks
we both look like idiots. I keep telling
her to choose. I gulp water
from a Coca-Cola glass that was
dusted for prints last year.

1992 forgets 1991 and to shut
the Christmas lights off, but never leaves
notebooks on the table. I have hazel eyes
and don't know how to read. I eat my cereal
with spoiled milk and swear under the wheat
on my tongue, "mother-," slumping into the chair,
still warm from the recent 1989. I have to get
up for a clean spoon - 1990 settles down,
says, "sit," and waits a long time for me to listen.
My cereal goes soggy and I have no more.