“momma, you can braid my hair tonight?”

i ask again as if i never taught myself to braid.

“i can buy you some more blue magic later on ”

as i scrape the last remnants from the bottom of the jar.

“you can take a break if your hands start aching.”

while i cup a dollop of grease in one palm, 

and she gathers my thoughts into a bun,

and the tylenol stay just out of reach on the linoleum floor.