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the day apt. 304 speaks -- poetry by Sophia Lekeufack

just came home from my dentist appointment. 

daddy drops me off at the steps of building 403. 


“don’t tell your mom we got ice cream” 


he doesn’t see the chocolate chip goo dripping 

from the corner of my mouth. betraying me.


daddy drives off because i know this neighborhood scares him 

and i climb up three flights of stairs. 


apartment 304


there, mom sits by our coffee table, which is also our dining table 

her legs are crossed and she sinks into our carpet, 

just like the last time and the time before. 

remnants of last night’s EBT dinner mold


just under her 

like an everlasting bond.


stacks of nothing lie on the table in wait. i can’t.

“i have three cavities mommy” 


mom stares at me and sings her silent tune 

mom stares at me and she doesn’t talk

and then i see that she is in my eyes, 

the eyes she created and the eyes she will 


one day 


see as strangers. so she stares at me 

and in the quiet we stand.


i hate the silence

thickening, 

weaving through all 550 sq ft

of our heaven and hell


so i flash mommy a tooth grin 

1-2-3 

my cavities on full display


she tells me

i have my daddy’s smile.


 

Sophia Lekeufack is a first-generation high school junior based in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. She has been published in Roi Fainéant Literary Press and has work forthcoming in the Blue Marble Review. Sophia has also been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Through the mediums of poetry and prose, Sophia amplifies not only her stories but the stories of those who came before her. If she is not lying in bed reading a Patti Smith memoir, you can find her at the local Thai restaurant devouring some drunken noodles.

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