Poetry: even my dreams are over the constant state of anxiety by Irene Cooper

even my dreams are over the constant state of anxiety

i was scheduled for a bar shift tho i didn’t work there didn’t know it was a bar thought it was a monday night anyway not a busy thursday i’d been on the phone an old faded yellow phone that hung on the wall and had a spiral cord someone was telling me i’d inherited or won a house possibly a lot of money i had to hang up orders were coming in service had started i gestured with my right index finger in the air you know like i’ll be with you in one minute a woman wanted a dewars latina i said could you tell me what that is she said it’s dewar’s scotch with salty tears that come in a tiny blue bird bottle labelled lagrimas i looked everywhere the bar was a mess i thought if I’d known i had a shift i would’ve stocked the glassware at least there was ice but why was there ice that was weird the line at the bar grew the manager was upset but i was doing my best and anyway this shitshow had nothing to do with me

Irene Cooper is the author of Committal, poet-friendly spy-fy about family (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2020) & spare change: poems (FLP, 2021). Writings appear in Denver Quarterly, The Feminist Wire, The Manifest-Station, Phoebe The RumpusStone of Madness PressWitness, and elsewhere. Irene also co-facilitates Blank Pages Workshops, teaches in the community, and supports AIC-directed creative writing opportunities at a regional prison in Oregon, where she lives with her people and corgi.