Juanita Rey

Getting By

In my apartment
the gas stove
is a bitch to light
and I often
sound like a bitch
when I’m lighting it –

and the refrigerator
couldn’t keep
a dictator’s heart chilled
while the sink
is as rusty as my singing voice –

the bed is my own
so I am the lumpy sheets
and the too thin blanket
but not the carpet,
not the cigarette burns
in the fake Persian weave –

the landlady
has the hyena’s sympathies
for a dead antelope,
and her expression
after any broached subject
is that of parent
looking down on
an ingrate daughter –

like all of her kind,
she figures she’s doing me
an America-sized favor
just renting to my kind –

she could kick me out,
she could raise the rent –

I make enough
to afford this place
but to complain
is more expensive.

Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country for five years. Her work has been published in Pennsylvania English, Opiate Journal, Petrichor Magazine and Porter Gulch Review.

Previous: Maryfrances WagnerIssue 18 • Next: Rebecca Macijeski