We are broken again. Minor defects
that make up a myriad of outward
and observable problems: the limp,
the wince, the sheer amount of time
that everything takes to get done.
I've pushed too hard again and you
have pushed back again. Abusive,
we are constantly push-pulling to
see what the other can take but we
are older now; should be kinder.
Although I know I shouldn't,
I blame you. It's all physical
after all, and my brain-muscle
has stretched and flexed and
you have always buckled under.
Maybe it isn't about being kinder;
maybe by now we should know
better –know hurt isn't a thing
to be pushed through, or spur-
red on by; know pain isn't weak.
I'm sorry for blaming you.
Let's start over, again?
* * *
Before bed my partner lays out their essentials –
clean underwear, a fresh t-shirt, comfortable jeans.
On the coffee table is our shared hairbrush,
the mirror that shows too many pores, and a note
that says, “Eat breakfast x”.
When my partner leaves, I lay out my essentials –
clean underwear, a fresh dress, twelve spoons.
* * *
CHRONIC ILLNESS CLASSES
Their handles are weighted and I wonder / whether the occupational department wanted / heavy spoons to make
us fully understand / the responsibility of weighing out our energy. / I see what they've done there. / On my
tongue I taste the bittersweet irony / of using six spoons to get up, half-showered (washed / my hair at least)
and dressed; leave the house / drive here, arrive here for someone to tell me / how protective I should be over
my spoons. / They give us cutlery to take home and tell / us to keep them somewhere in sight, in case / we
forget that our limbs have been lined with lead / and our minds gassed, smog full of hormones / our bodies have
created. My dry mouth is bittersweet again.