their breath their sweat
especially when they are lying on top of you
or when they have fallen off of you and you are listening to them snore and fart
when they are your father stumbling up the stairs or passed out on the sofa
in all his clothes smelling of cigarettes vomit and stale women’s cologne
when he is smacking your mother around and you can smell her near
you are supposed to be sleeping
when they sit next to you on the subway
when they yell “hey baby” as you are walking to school
when they are happy dancing with their pants falling off
slobbering on your neck playing cards talking shit
just mean

when they are lilies at a funeral

bed sheets the day after when the dark has removed its mask

Monica Hand, "Things that stink" from me and Nine​. Copyright © 2012 by Monica Hand. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Alice James Books, www.alicejamesbooks.org.