Bag slung over the shoulder,
coat on, I intended to say: "Have a nice evening."
But she interrupted
asking whether I was ok, that I hadn't looked it these past days, if everything was alright?
For two seconds
my brain ran the gamut of answers
all starting with no.
No, because I fear I won't make this deadline,
mostly because of my own self-sabotage
No, because the man in front of me is tip-toeing through his day
and I want to shout at him to use his ENTIRE FUCKING FOOT
as I, elephantine, stampede through the concrete jungle
embarrassed by this bad analogy.
No, because the darkness I see when I go to sleep is all
sharp edges and steely blue-black shards,
not the comforting velvet fur of a black cat disappearing into night.
No, because He interfered with my plans
and I hate having to bow, to bend,
to compromise when it is none.
No, because I feel fat and
there aren't any good mangoes to be had
and all my clothes are shades of black and blue,
so I wear my nightmares to work.
No, because I am paralysed by a fear of
yet unmade decisions
so I make none.
No, because my new shoes hurt so much that
yesterday I was shuffling home,
outpaced by a woman in her 90s.
No, because all of this makes life feel beyond my control,
just here for the ride,
like that one time I went on Space Mountain
and hated it.
No, because the air is getting heavier and heavier
and I can't breathe.
Instead I answer with a "thank you, but it's just tiredness"
and close the glass doors
shutting out as much as they are shutting in.