Home in Las Vegas

by Katie Marya

Katie Marya

Targets, Best Buys, IHOPs and casinos—
everything a primary color except the stucco

cube house squatting on its track, the pride
my single mother paid for by herself, mostly,

which shouldn’t matter at this point—just look
at her trying so hard to make a normal life

for us: she stains the cement floor like mud
finger paint, an impromptu weekend project,

she switches on the electric fireplace for the dog
as we leave to pick up Chinese food so we can sit

in her bed and watch HBO, that’s what we do
on Sundays. My prepubescent body wrapped

in booty shorts and a Bon Jovi t-shirt curling
next to her. She makes dinner sometimes,

always pork chops and green beans. Every night
is the end of a hard day. Once we had a pigeon

problem, shit covered the patio—watch her sprinkle
Alka-Seltzer everywhere, even on the phallic yucca,

and whisper those birds will nibble up these chalky
pellets, fly far away, and blow up. She rearranges

all the wrought-iron furniture, spruces up the beds
on the floor with no box springs, stocks the pantry

with perfectly lined boxes of Cheez-Its, Slim Jims
and vitamin C. And here I am now telling you

about the shape of me beneath her feather
comforter, our luxury, and the pigeon plucking

and blinking at the skyscraper palm tree, how
that whole world she made came and went so fast.

Sugar Work

Last updated December 01, 2022