Dirty Laundry

Sometimes when I concentrate with all I have
I can remember the first time you fell
asleep with your head in my lap
and I thought the little noises your nose
and mouth made were sweet.

I remember loving the little stuffed animal
you brought me even though it came from
the gas station where you stopped to buy
beer and tums.

Now I hate the way your hair
stands in all different directions
when you first wake or
how it feels when you don’t
wash it for two days.

I hate the way you try to kiss me
with morning breath
and the way you smell like
cigarettes and unwashed jeans.

I want to tell you this but instead I
pick a fight with you because I say
you were ignoring me when you
sat on the porch for ten minutes and
didn’t even bother to check on me.

Or I tell you I’m upset
because you stopped too suddenly at
the red light you should have seen coming
before now.

I don’t tell you how I hate your
dirty shoes and dirty hair and
dirty t-shirts and dirty house.

I don’t tell you how I hate you
because that guy in my math class with clean jeans
and teeth asked me to lunch
and I had to tell him
I have a boyfriend.

This poem was written in the late 90s.