You sit down next to me after pouring milk for my cereal. The carton is labeled moooo milk and it makes me think of your chins, long like the O’s and curved like the M. Your palms find your back like lotion on thirsty skin, then you say “hurry up” as if I could possibly finish my cereal with only a teaspoon of milk. One spoon full of honey combs dry, like your knees, in my mouth, so hard I could hear myself chew. I let a few combs swim in the pond until their backs were wet. They reach my mouth in one, two and that’s when you snatch the bowl away and for a second I wish it would fly out your hand to slow you down. Then I realize your hands move as fast as your feet and the only reason they move is to feed me. I swallow my spit to wash the rest of the cereal down as I rush to brush the crumbs off my Captain America shirt. Instead, the crumbs bleed in and scratch my chest. I had just started wearing a training bra, my nipples tender- “I can’t believe you don’t listen,” yep like her feelings. She tosses my bowl back on the table. The sink has been clogged since noon yesterday, so we left our bowls on the dinner table. Spaghetti noodles are still hanging out from my mom’s bowl after dinner last night. “Eat it all missy. I need to make sure you keep growing.” My bowl was clean because it had to be.
“Let’s go.” I picked up my back pack and followed my mom out of our extremely red apartment door and onto the elevator down the hall. “Press the star baby, oh thank you. Such a good girl.” But I’m not mama. I actually don’t care about anything. I just don’t want to hear you in my ear talking about how lazy my hands are and that I should polish my fingernails baby pink because I’m a girl, then you’d start talking about my pants being loose on my ass like you haven’t bought them in the first place.
Can’t you tell that I’m losing weight and that I’m getting hips like bugs bunny. Then my hair is never right. My ponytail is either too straight or too curly or too short or too nappy. My lips are always crusty, my ears have wax in them, my nose looks like the inside of a honey comb. Are my draws clean? Did I put enough oil on my hair to last all day? Where is my Jasmine perfume or my earrings or my lipstick? Pop that pimple and let it heal because it’s a white head. Don’t chew on your bottom lip before it gets too big. Don’t bite on your nails. Tie your shoes, oh no those shoes are dirty baby. You need to hose them down, be good in school. If you get a B, its fine, no C’s. Put your finger on your lip when your teacher tells you to. You don’t have a boyfriend, huh? That’s a no-no; boys get you pregnant. You have a period now. Are you gay? You better pray if you thinking about it. Any girls like you? Do you want some money for lunch? I’m not sure if I gave enough to the lunch lady. Stop picking your scabs, did you take a bath last night? I knew you didn’t. That’s not lady like. Learn something.
After that it’s hard to concentrate. Today you don’t’ say anything. For some reason you are quiet. I’m too lazy to ask. Or should I even? She’s touching my back like pushing a dirty trash can in a corner. I’m just rolling along like a hospital cart to my bus stop around the corner. “This bus is always late.” You say that every weekday at 6:32 like clockwork and the bus would stop in front of us a couple seconds later.