It’s never enough that I wash the dishes after you’ve made a huge dinner the night before.
Not to me. Next day I soap the plates and pans and fear you’ve silently noted the pot
of my middle-aged belly and, with effort, convince yourself each morning not to leave.
I work harder for a spell before I fall short again. I log each deficit in the ledger of
my mind, make a notch in the wall of this place where I hole up. Some days the door
cracks open, a shaft of light falls upon the hash-marked stone. Your face in the opening,
beaming with delight. I walk outside, blinking at the dazzle. Some days it’s too bright.
I try to stay as long as I can in the sun. Your warmth seeps into my bones. In the kitchen,
what you make for me tastes so good. I say thank you and try to eat until I’m full again.
I lean back in my chair. I think of that cold lair. I say another thank you. It’s not enough.