The manual should say, simulate control
by sneaking in a second and defuse the tolling
before it wakes everyone within a mile radius.
The manual should say, heat up a packet
of popcorn once and the stench will inhabit
your machine until its time for a new one.
The manual should say, you’ve been
saying it wrong. You will never be as sophisticated
as Nigella Lawson.
The manual should say, this may empower
your late-night confidence to binge on loneliness,
and oh, leftovers meant for tomorrow.
and assumes a slumber you will envy—
unlike your worst thoughts, plaguing.
Audrey L. Reyes (she/her) is a Filipino poet, writer, and former early childhood educator whose favorite workplace activity is raising hell. Her work has been featured in QUINCE Magazine, NECTAR, Marias at Sampaguitas, Hecate Magazine, superfroot, and Porridge Magazine (forthcoming). She resides in Manila, Philippines.