Prayers Through Broken Teeth of a Cafeteria Catholic

"Don't be sad, mom," he pleads
through smoke exhaled
outside a fast food joint
on this call cut short
by lunch break
ideal for breaking news
of break-ups.
"We wanted different things."

Some would mistakenly tout
Reverse Parenting
though Freud be damned
it's no such beast.
At core it's saving loved ones
since we can't protect ourselves.

The Special Sauce
shifts in his stomach
staking claim of conquered land
from a meal too rushed for comfort.
He waits for affirmation
through the intermittent signal
part of him believing
the words he's said in haste.

The drive-thru girl walks by
to burn one in her car.
She leaves a trail of cheap perfume
that lingers as it shouldn't
though it beats the reek of onions--
Doused like the fire
that stubbornly won't leave.

It'll make for better memoirs
that every inch was won.

The din of midday traffic
drowns his mother's sigh
while his best friend
twice removed
swears off tertiary chances.

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