I need a job and an apartment, but to get a job
I need an address and a phone number
and a driver’s license and a social security card.
I walk back to my “office” at the pay phone.
A middle-aged woman with a three-year-old granddaughter
tells me it’s always hard at the beginning
but you adjust and you apply for as many as possible
since a help-wanted ad may not mean
any help is wanted just now.
The guy with the crucifixion t-shirt
(SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO)
complains that his baked potato is too hard
and his iced tea too icy
and leaves no tip at all. I try to
treat each shift as an emergency:
you’ve got starving people,
so feed them! Forget that you
will have to do this tomorrow. Forget
that you will have to be
alert enough to drive home tonight.
Amanda Laughtland lives in the suburbs of Seattle. She is the author of Postcards to Box 464 (Bootstrap Press) and a handful of chapbooks. Most recently, her work has been published in E·ratio and One Sentence Poems.