Andre R. Hogan II

 

Bedtime

c’mon, now, y’all need to git in the bed
it’s nine o’ clock
and y’know how early I gotta be befo’ I git
to the dock—
‘cuz I sho’ don’t wanna hear his mouth
and he’s gave me, like, two weeks vacation ‘cuz I sho’ had
been wantin’ to go back south

hey—a’ight, now—stop
‘cmon, now, y’all, damn
I ain’t got all night—
and check them windows befo’ y’all do go to bed
and the door—the back,
I mean, make sure th’t they closed all the way and locked up tight

naw, git in there
cha ass on in there
boy, don’t you dare... rollin’ yo’ eyes at me
now, git in there
go to bed
and don’t even think about gittin’ in the bed wit’ me if you
start gittin’ again th’m nightmares

another day, Lord
another day
I mean, what can I say?
another day

and don’t forget, we gotta go the laundr’mat
tomorrow
an’ that coat too you love wearin’ need washin’
and them socks—
and git them gloves up off the floor,
and them shorts
or we gon’ box

yeah, bentley, jes’ go to ned
jes’ go to sleep
an’ I bet’ not hear a peep

and you too, shayla
now, put on yo’ nightgown
and don’t be havin’ it all the way up or somethin’ when
you go to bed,
I mean, you pull that shit down

skyler, you too
what’s wrong? yo’ stomach hurt?
you gotta pee? gotta go
boo-boo?

and william, please don’t wear that shirt
now, see, you ‘bout to git to’ feelin’s hurt
– bad enuf that you’ve been drinkin’ up all the quik
and callin’ yo’self tryin’ to make some when knowin’ damn well th’t
that shit gon’ make people sick—
now, look at this
damn
and I jes’ ironed this shit
I mean, you don’t neva’ quit, do ya—
and fo’ shit?
but that’s okay
th’t’s a’right
I’mon iron this shirt...
for tomorrow...
I jes’ know th’t you ain’t gon’ call yo’ boy or whoever when you git home, uh,
wha’sa name? carl? curt?

what can I say?
what can I say, Lord?
jes’ one more day, I mean, what can I say?
‘cuz I’m ti’ed, Lord
I’m ti’ed

shh, mama should be sleep already
she better
and she bet’ not make them diapers th’t she jes’ bought more wetter
yeah
she is
‘cuz I sho’ don’t feel like hearin’ her or smellin’ her piss
           hmmph, talkin’ about—                 where my nightgown at?
                                                              where my enema at?
                                                              y’all been playin’ with my teeth again?
                                                              I ‘on’t see it here – ain’t none nowhere – now,
                                                              where the tissue at?

worse than william, and I don’t know how long th’t that
shit’s gon’ last

with her nasty ass

hope some chicken left in there
Lord, please don’t lemme hafta find nuthin’,
or kill me some kin
since I can’t do shit wit’ jes’ skin,
or bones
shh, can’t wait when he git up one day too and move up on out of here
and shayla
bentley
and skyler too, though she still is my lil’ boo-boo
shh, an’ mama too—wit’ her stankin’ ass—
I mean, jes’ leave me the hell alone!

but least th’t they doin’ good, though, you
know?
they       they cool
in school
shayla
skyler
bentley
and willy
yeah, I might take ‘em to chuckecheeses or somethin’,
or maybe go over auntie house—ain’t that far from over
here, philly

and my mama? she helped me git this
house—
or apartment, and on this flo’
‘cuz I can’t stand bein’ over at robert no mo’
and it’s been a while, I think now, since I’d seen a roach,
or a mouse

I mean, I ain’t neva’ felt nuthin’ than what I
usually feel in my heart
they doin’ they part
but still, I mean, you see jes’ what I gotta put up
with
everyday
since it bees that way
—Lord, another day—
them cussin’
and fussin’
wantin’ to fight,
keepin’ me up all night
usin’ up shit,
eatin’ up shit
takin’ and shit without askin’,
and talkin’ shit,
and jes’ alla’ this playin’
and how I hafta keep ‘em from not prayin’

yeah

I mean, it’s always somethin’

every     day

shh, enuf to find me some shit to start

but still—

I ain’t neva’ thought ‘em either to think that we should be apart

hope that nigga’ll be here with the money
this weekend
he will
‘cuz I need to pay all these bills
shh, he oughta be glad th’t I didn’t git ‘em for child support,
‘cuz my brotha? he a lawyer
and that I had all my kids, ‘cuz he couldn’t afford for me either
to abort,
and he better spend some time with ‘em, ‘cuz I sho’ was ‘bout
to git, uh, wha’sa name—
tanya? toya?

plus, I ain’t got ‘em for how he been
treatin’ me
though he ain’t beat me
but then too
we still friends
we still got somethin’ goin’, ‘cuz at times, you know?
when I’m in the house? it’d be
borin’
yeah
we still friends
but
then too
I don’t know how it’s gon’ look, though, in the end

lemme shut up
got my head hurt...
yeah, lemme go on to bed
soon’s I finish this nigga hea’ shirt

yeah, that day
when he went away
when I told ‘em, you know? to jes’ go
go
‘cuz I didn’t wanna hear nuthin’ more of what he
had to say

yeah lemme shut up
got my head hurt...
yeah, lemme go on to bed
soon’s I do finish wit’ this nigga here shirt

talkin’ about I was too aggressive
too strong
shh, with you comin’ home late
and right after you ate somethin’
why should you not hear what I had to say—
huh?
‘cuz I was jes’ through with you
that day
so why should I not be as aggressive, or
strong?
‘cuz for somebody like you, y’would’n’t be in my house for long

yeah      lemme go on to bed

            lemme shut up

yeah      lemme iron this shirt

            shit had my feelin’s hurt           and my head

yeah      I was sad
but I didn’t want to git all crazy      you know?
and lazy
I mean, bein’ that mad

I mean, I know th’t he wa’n’t the best that I thought I
had
but these kids here? his kids—mine?—I ‘on’t be feelin’
as bad

I mean, I’m grateful

thankful

all of that cussin’
and fussin’

wantin’ to fight,
keepin’ me up all night

usin’ up shit,
eatin’ up shit

takin’ and shit without askin’,
and talkin’ shit—

and all of that playin’?

yeah

it’s enuf for me too to keep from stop prayin’

yeah, man      lemme go on to bed
so I could go to sleep
I’m ti’ed
—bentlety, I told you: I told you: not a peep
and shayla, keep that gown down, now, I told you and
skyler, you turn around—now, if you gotta go, then, baby, go
mama, you too
(‘cuz I still don’t hear yo’ stankin’ ass no mo’)
william
you too
jes’ shut up
(and I still can’t wait to put yo’ ass out this do’)

another day, Lord
I’m tellin’ you
another day

but jes’ one more day, Lord
‘cuz it’s thursday
jes’ one more day

help me git through this day

and can’t wait to go away
back south
‘cuz I ain’t got to hear what nobody got to say
jes’ shut up, man
jes’ shut up

but another day, Lord

please

have me to stay

another day

another day