“lady at the mailbox” by Tex Gresham

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she used a knife to break into the mailroom
she didn’t have her key
she was on the phone, laughing
her daughter and son, on bikes
they cried at the door because they couldn’t come in
i stood thirteen feet away from them, mask on my face
she used a knife to break into her mailbox
she still didn’t have her key
she pulled out an envelope
she screamed “we got our check. let’s go cash the motherfucker.”
she left the mailroom
i made sure our distance was always thirteen feet
her daughter took off on her bike, rolled into the parking lot
a car slammed on its brakes
she screamed “ay! ay!” at her daughter
her son rode in front of her, pedaled away down the sidewalk
she screamed “ay! we’re going the other way.”
her son didn’t stop
she said “okay. let’s go that way then.”
more to herself than anyone.
she laughed on the phone, followed her son
her daughter went the other way, still in the little street that goes through our apartment complex
a car slammed on its brakes
i checked my mail and got a package from my mom
two shirts and a credit card
they keep mailing the credit card to my parents’ house
before i left the mailroom i noticed she left her box open because she didn’t have a key to lock it
the mailperson will do it tomorrow
i’m glad i left the house today

 

Tex Gresham is the author of Heck, Texas (coming Sept 2020 from Atlatl Press). He has other work online and almost never posts on Twitter as @thatsqueakypig. He lives in Las Vegas. www.squeakypig.com

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