by Cleo Nuckels

I am the new $1.29 Nacho Fries. I am the commercial about them on ABC. I am eating them in my car in the Kroger parking lot.

I am Kroger-brand cat litter that only costs a few bucks because it comes in a bag, but it spills all over the floor because my cat scratches through the bag, and he pisses on it because he doesn’t know any better. He pees all over and on my clothes, so I’m sorry, but I’ll smell like piss until I buy some more laundry detergent. And even after that, who knows?

I am staying home from work today to do laundry and clean but actually to watch television. I am the one TV channel I get, ABC, for free. I am the products on Shark Tank because I try way too hard to get people to like me even though I know I am useless, like an artisan pickle, like a new lawn game, like everything. I am the TV that I got from my grandpa when he died, and the coffee can full of quarters that he left behind for me, and the half-empty pack of cigarettes that he died smoking, and I finished. I am my father who produced me, along with my mother, at a cost of thousands of dollars. I am the hospital parking lot where my grandpa decided to divorce his wife, minutes after I was born. I am my parents’ wedding, which my grandpa paid for back when he had money, and he was alive. I am alone. I’m thinking.

I am a handcuffs keychain that I stole from a souvenir shop in San Antonio because I used to get my kicks from stealing. I promised that I would bring home a souvenir for my girlfriend, and I’m acting impulsively because my ex-boyfriend called me in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant earlier, and he said his brother died, and I tried to comfort him, but I felt useless. I am the extra chicken nuggets that I accidentally got for free on the walk back from that Mexican restaurant, when I stopped at McDonald’s by the Alamo.

I was San Antonio bound but only because the flight’s free. I am going home soon. I’m thinking.

I am the convenience store ice cream bar that my mom bought me when she decided to get a divorce, and it melted on the beach in my mouth as she explained dad and alcoholism. I am older now because I got a free ride to college.

I am the big water bottle I drank in one gulp and pissed out parked in front of Little Caesar’s. Working two jobs. Driving so much.

It’s always a big relief. One of the best feelings in the world. Then I toss the piss outside and the bottle to the floor. I am wondering if it’s illegal to pour your piss onto a parking lot.

I am the garbage I throw on the floor. I cost money. I am spent, used up, but still here.

didn’t your mama ever teach you how to cry, boy?