Chronic Pain Is Exhausting


I’m tired of listening to your prattling, your signals, and sirens. You’re a secret I’d rather keep to myself but I can’t make you keep quiet.

I take off my skin and let you crawl inside, you slip into me—the flick of the sheet clicks you shut.

You give me the measurements to live in: three meals, warm water, no stairs. I lurch and halt in the pulses of your flares. I want to leap out, climb through the ceilings, press the sun between my teeth but you pull me back, you always pull me back.

Strangers ask, Where are you from?

Here, I say, touching your shoulder. I’m from here.

I can still read your hands on my body. I keep telling myself I’m not alone, I’m not the first person to ever feel you; Frida remembers lying under you, too.

You are the beginning of my undoing but it would be weird not to ache.