Issue Two

Devon S Roberts


People talk to me.     They talk, they talk at me.      My voice is static. The buzz between radio stations.  I listen. I nod. Contort my face into shapes of understanding.  Joy. Empathy. Condolence. Shared emotions. I hear you; do you see me?

I work.     My job is ear-to-ear charisma.    “How may I help you?” “Can I help you

with anything?”    “Do you need any help?” 

Help.     I’m so tired but I’m here.   Back straight. Smiling. Happiness bought at $10 an hour. He flirts.   Smiles. Laughs.    Sighs. Looks down at me with star crossed eyes.   I do what I can to not hold his hand. To keep his hands off of me.     To get away. I’m shaking.    “I’m fine.” 

Just, please…


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