“Hi! Welcome to Taco Bell”

she says as I walk through the door,

so I nod and saunter to the counter

where she waits for me to order,

make a choice

choose,

know what to do

 

the lights on the menu behind her,

the lights on the menu bright with failure

over and  

over

again

me—with my I’ve-got-the-whole-world-in-the-pocket-of-my-ripped-blue-jeans look

standing as tall as I can, as confident as I can—because I’m not

my panic and me

smiling so big I can feel my heart beat between my fingers

trying to count sweaty coins

over and over

 

unsure of how to order

sure that I’ll make a mistake,

trust him when I

shouldn’t have

walk through that door

be too afraid to walk out

 

socks sweating, I stand before a counter

in three-inch, high-heeled

fake-it-til-you-make-it boots

pulling coins out of a ripped pocket

just like anyone else who walks through those double doors

 

I order tacos

 

Kae Bucher graduated from Fresno Pacific University with a Bachelor’s in English and a minor in Christian Ministries and then went on to teach Special Education. As a poet, Kae has advocated for sexual abuse survivors through the Blood Into Ink poetry contest. Two of Kae’s poems received honorable mentions. Kae’s writing on behalf of PTSD victims occurs at www.txdisabilities.org. Kae has garnered over 800 followers on her poetry blog, www.bucketsonabarefootbeach.com, in less than a year and also co-edits Jordan Journal, a Christian literary collective.