"he was always turning the lights on and off,
opening and closing the door,
counting as he went: thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine, forty.
eventually i had to tell him that if he kept opening the door,
we’d have a whole bunch of house intruders
before the night was through. he responded by trying to kiss me once,
then ended up kissing me twenty-three times, then once more
for an even twenty-four. then he had to redo two of them
because “our mouths hadn’t been quite aligned.”
some nights i’d wake up with the moon soaking the bedsheets,
listening to the sound of him repeating the word “fuck”
over and over: he’d stubbed his toe on the bathroom doorway
but couldn’t stop swearing once he’d started.
i fell back asleep after staring at my pillow
until the floral pattern burned into my eyelids,
dreamt the two of us went to an opera but instead of beautiful,
tremulous voices rising high into the air,
two sopranos were singing “fuck” to the tune of la traviata.
he apologises the next day, says the new medication
made him feel like shit all the time so he took himself off it;
i respond that it probably made him feel that way
because it was working.
two days later the ambulance comes and takes him away;
he’d accidentally cut one of his wrists with the steak knife
chopping carrots for stew
but couldn’t have just one cut wrist;
he had to have two."
by meggie royer