Packet Hoarder

We didn’t have extra money for Tapatío
or the gas to go to Wal-Mart, anyway.

In the kitchen, I’d spin in circles
from boredom. Eat slices of bread
from hunger

(and boredom.)

Would open and shut
the cupboards and drawers,
somehow always surprised
by what I found:

In one, our utensils, well organized.
In another, mom’s handgun,
poorly hidden behind old oven mitts
and stained rags.
In another, ants.
In another, dozens of Taco Bell sauce packets.

Shameless, she’d walk to Taco Bell,
say she needed more packets,
claim they didn’t put any in her bag.
What, don’t they remember her?
From the drive thru about an hour ago?
She’d leave with enough
to season our food for weeks.

I liked to read the messages on the back,
my favorites being,
“Will you marry me?” and
“Where are you taking me?”
Both implying
love and fear.


miss macross is a Pittsburgh-based multi-genre writer who enjoys watching mecha and taking naps. Her first chapbook, MISS MACROSS VS. BATMAN, was published by Dark Particle/CWP Collective Press in 2018. Find her on Twitter @missmacross.

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