Pretend Nice, But Terrible

I drove all this way,
but all I want to do is drive
away again.
All the words in Scrabble
are as inadequate.

Still, I keep score–
15 years to go
1 minor text message sent
— because
tally marks
our progress.

Walls, floors, ceilings, folding tables and chairs,
guards and vending machines:
it all smells like bleach,
and bleach does not
smell clean.

I’m working on a theory about clean,
about a lot of work.

Now that I have nails I stopped biting,
I’ve struggled at keeping them clean.
These are the kinds of things I notice when unsettled,
unclean, and playing a game I don’t want to play.



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