Pinched Toes
At the start of the day
I yelled at little Benjie for spilling his cereal,
then I pulled Gloria's hair too hard when it wouldn't
twist into an even braid

Baby Lala got on my nerves for wetting her diaper
twice before breakfast and for spitting up her rice
and milk all over my last clean dress

and let's not even think about last night

I didn't want to kiss Rudy at all this morning
because of the way he asked if there was any
fresh tortillas and could I make a better lunch today
'cuz he was getting tired of how I made his sandwiches

not to mention that the man still can't find
his own clean clothes and it's because
they are nesting under last week's calzones

And if Josie wants me to watch her little pack of
animals again I'm gonna sell 'em to the Circus Vargas

I'm gonna bite the dog too

I hate K-MART shoes

The rain is a quiet whisper in my ears tonight
si quería
I could shatter soltera and dance in the rainlight

and tonight

when soft July slips through the tiny holes of my
window screen I will call for violin and angels
and dance with God because He is the only he


and tonight

I lower my bird self onto the thinly carpeted
floor under my bed and pedal an
invisible bicycle until I scream and curse
the He and the he because my legs no longer
fill with blood

because my heart has failed me

--- Deborah Fernández Badillo
From The Chicano / Latino Literary Prize
An Anthology of Prize-Winning
Fiction, Poetry and Drama
Stephanie Fette, Editor
©2008 Arte Público Press
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