Keeper of the Toilet Key

by Tish Markley

I let the addict free because she sang a song about a swing set

full of suckers and children laughing

from where set sat on the Red Bull display.

When she begged for rehab

the seven foot, khaki pig called her a danger,

and tried to cuff her even as she cried.


On my way home from work,

a man on the bus asked me for a dollar

so he could feed his mom

and I had to say no because I’m broke.

He told me she has Hepatitis and he has HIV.

They joke that they don’t have cancer

so they’re lucky.


I still give the toilet key to anyone who asks.

I haven’t cleaned up any shit, yet

but the district manager threatened me

over $2 missing from my counts.

Next time it comes out of my check.