Shattered Dishes

June 16, 2018

Fingers drum on the kitchen counter top

Like a court stenographer at a sentencing hearing

Waiting for the verdict.

Our differences have gotten so much louder recently

And I don’t know when it started or why

But at a glacial pace and explosion took place

And now here we are standing in the kitchen

Wondering who broke all these dishes.

I’m sorry the ashes from my father came out of my mouth again

Sometimes they just burn my throat so bad

That I have no choice but to spit them out.

And I’m sorry you keep asking me for love letters

Even though you know I haven’t bought pencils in years.

I’m sorry for the constant phone calls and then for the lack of calls

I’m sorry for October

And I’m sorry I’m sorry for that.

I’m sorry our bed and the couch isn’t closer

And I’m sorry you constantly feel like my hands

Are a gun at your back.

I swear I don’t mean it

They do that on their own while I’m trying to hold you

Everything turns harder over time

Everything turns metal

And this iron tastes a lot like blood in our mouths

And the blood always reminds me that out of everyone in this room

You and I aren’t actually family

We are simply two people bound by metal

Handcuffs, guns, rings, locks and keys

It just depends on the day

And so we say we’re sorry by putting

New milk in the fridge

By putting a new text in our phones

By putting our children first and ourselves second

Until they go to sleep and we can’t hide from the fact anymore that

Someone shattered the dishes

And I don’t think it was me

But you don’t either

And neither one of us wants to clean them up

Maybe it’s because we’re too tired

Or maybe it’s because we don’t want to take the blame 

But the dishes just sit there and wait to be picked up

And neither of us move.

We go to bed

We leave the mess

We wake up hoping it will be gone in the morning.

But as I stumble by to make my coffee

I catch my knee on one of the shards sharp edges

And blame you for the blood.

I notice you cut your hand on one of the dishes too.

I’m sorry for that.

And I’m sorry for the dishes

And I see in your eyes that you are too

But we still can’t clean them up

Because some things are just too sharp to touch.


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