INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE

Morning:

The debt of days past

leaden with expectation, disappointment, reality.

Eyes flicker open to a ceiling of peeling paint

washed with the wonder of soft sunlight

peering through sheer curtains.

Repeated motions:

Apply a new face

Reshape the body

Adorn with subtle details

enough to convey effort

but not to attract attention.

Repeated sounds:

Please and thank you’s

Click clack of heeled footsteps.

Delicate reminders in the conditional tense

and silent nods.

Repeated expressions:

Smile, always

A downward gaze with hunched shoulders

Crossed legs, lightly folded hands.

Distant gazes, never fixed onto anything

in particular.

Afternoon:

Fleeting office interactions

camaraderie, muffled laughter, and daily news.

Unthanked labor and unending workloads.

Evening:

Rush home

to pick up, feed, bathe, and clothe Dependents.

await Husband

cold dinner, drunken excuses, dutiful nights.

Morning:

The debt of days past

leaden with expectation, disappointment, reality.

Eyes flicker open to a ceiling of peeling paint

washed with the wonder of soft sunlight

peering through sheer curtains.

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