1 min read

I put the slip mat from the dish pit in the three sink.
I hang it over the three walls. I spray it with the hose.
I watch the flour and sugar and mushrooms and beef tips
and bread crumbs go, swirling in the three sink. I put the
degreaser in the mop bucket. I slather a slick layer over
the kitchen floor. I follow with a deck brush until the
food stuff scrapes off. I follow with a dry mop to buff
it shiny. When I get in my car I realize my tire’s half flat.
I roll the dice. I stop at the grocery store, half a catered
Christmas sprayed across my clothes. I check out.
On my receipt it says I have 25 cents left in food stamps.

Brendan Joyce is the author of three collections of poetry; Character Limit (2019), Love & Solidarity (2020) and coming later this year, Personal Problem (2023). Along with Kevin Latimer, he is the co-organizer of Grieveland, a poetry press for displaced workers in Cleveland, Ohio. His poems have appeared in Protean Magazine, the Brooklyn Rail, waxnine, The Reservoir and Prolit.