Cut to the Chase
Let me cut to the chase
I have no idea how I feel today
under-rested, I dragged out of bed
slogged through the same peanut butter toast I eat
every single morning ...
oh but –
let me cut to the chase –
as I chewed my peanut butter
my brain wearily framed sentences, words
for the next text message I would send to him.
It had to go out right after breakfast
the text that would, that had to
the conclusion I came to at
4:30 am, when I couldn’t go back to sleep.
My grandiose 4:30-in-the-morning conclusion
slightly cracked lightbulb that
drifted up wearily, over my head.
My poor tired brain
circling the lightbulb as it yawned, resigned …
that thing, the tool, the not-so-astonishing fix
for him, for me, for us,
simply what I need from him right now.
Cut to the chase –
this morning – at the appropriate time
I was going to say to him …
through a screen …
my heart is speeding up,
I am vexed by my feelings –-
will you judge me at this point? Are you judging me right now? Is that why
I can’t cut to the chase?
Since Covid I
play little games with myself, with my thoughts, my mind
in this pandemic-encapsulated house.
My games have very strict rules
today – let me cut to the chase or try to –
this morning’s rule is that I
can’t think about the damn text until the designated time.
Today’s game and today’s rule?
It would be a lie to say
the rule allowed me to send that text at 4:30 am.
It would be a bigger lie to say I was allowed to wait
and send it after I eat dinner but
before I do the clean-up
(thus serving a dual purpose – avoiding my fear and
putting off doing the dishes).
Let me cut to the chase –
the rule emphasized most strongly –
under no circumstances could I
compose that damn text
at 10 o’clock tonight – my bedtime –
re-read it forty million times
chicken out and turn off the phone for the night.
I would hold fast to the rule
the text could be tapped, typed
only after I finished my breakfast
which included drinking all of my orange juice
dutifully unloading the dishwasher,
putting the new dishes from the sink into the empty dishwasher
and making my coffee.
Let me cut to the chase –
this is critical –
today – every day – drinking that single, sacred cup
might be all that lies between me staying on my feet
and spending the rest of the day in my bed.
Cut to the chase? All of this nonsense then
coffee in hand was today’s rule, before
typing out my thoughts
it would be like yesterday, the day before
text after text after text
It would be a lie to say I can stay rational in my thoughts about
those long periods of silence
even though, in my rational mind I know
that is his way
mine is different.
You see I can’t cut to the chase, ever.
Am I a poet?
Am I in love with the sound of my own voice
with my own words?
Am I so self-centered? My daughter jokes about it – you know,
“me! me! it’s all about me!” –
I turn any words from a friend, from my daughter
back to me, to my own experience.
I wrote the text
I sent the text
It was firm, but kind
I got rid of the text thread afterwards so
I could not obsessively re-read it
the rest of the day, today
I turned off my phone
I sat down on the couch
I can’t lie
I am totally exhausted.