One Lotto Ticket Away From Living the Dream

"Set for Life" and "Jackpot," two poems by Natalee Cruz

lotto balls

One Lotto Ticket Away From Living the Dream

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WHEN MY DAD CALLS
Set for Life

I’m scratching tickets right now
I won $10 and another ticket
Do you know what the ticket says?
“Win $10,000 a month for 25 years”
 
Can you imagine?
“Win $10,000 a month for 25 years”
That would be my retirement
Aha, retirement
 
Scratch scratch   scratch   scratch
 
Because I won $20 yesterday, I traded it for tickets
I didn’t take the cash I took more tickets
I got those 4 and then 3 from like a week ago
So, 7 tickets total
 
It’s called Set for Life
I’m going to send you a picture
of the winner one and the other winner one
So, you see the whole ticket
 
It’s the same ticket I sent before when I won the $500
Did you get the picture?
We aren’t in Mexico;
you should’ve gotten it by now
 
See, one of them says ticket and the other one says $10
Hopefully the next one will say “life”
I got nothing on this one
I have 3 more chances
 
Right?                                                          	Right.

Jackpot

Mija, have you heard               
of the prize in LA?                              
890 million, can you believe it?
And by Friday, it’ll be 900 million –                                        
almost a billion-dollar jackpot!
 
Chingado
 
mucho dinero
 
I’d be happy with maybe                                             
just half a million
 
I could help a lot of people too                                  
people that really need it
people that have nothing to eat          
people in small towns
 
Eh
 
I don’t know
 
I’m just dreaming        
           
Mis pies están
un poco cansados
 
Por que, Papí?   
 
Just work
 
Every day’s the same
cleaning teeth
taking impressions
cleaning instruments
cleaning the room after the patient leaves
doing set-ups for treatments
 
Then I have to sweep the office after everybody leaves
 
take out the trash
 
It’s okay for me because         
I make more money
I can make an hour overtime
just cleaning                            
 
fuck it
 
In other offices
you are done with your shift and
you go home                           
somebody else will clean the office that day
a cleaning group
 
The Doctor doesn’t have anyone to do it
so I do it
it’s not much to do—                                     
just sweep and mop
 
Doesn’t take me that long because
the office is not that big
 
I just turn on the music                       
on my phone                                      
and I’m happy. 

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