There's been much sighing in my house. My spouse does much of his work from home, and when he's got deadlines, and he's pushing up against them, he lets out a massive sigh for every 3rd breath.
How do I know this? When I'm working at home, our computers are across from each other.
Yes, it's not the cozy situation I envisioned. When I was young, I loved stories of writers who shared lives in such intertwined ways, working in the same study, reading each other's rough drafts, cozy, cozy, cozy.
That's not my life this week. When my spouse is really neck deep in reports and e-mails, he'll start to mutter. It's like sharing a study with a demon-possessed person.
Well, maybe not. I suppose a demon-possessed person would be more violent, or have more spitting, or something.
Other people are having weeks of heavy sighs too. Flooding in South Dakota, tornadoes in Massachusetts (really? can it be?). And that's the national scene. You can probably come up with any number of heavy sighing happening in your local neighborhoods.
I try to tell myself that sighing is just a way of getting fresh air into the far reaches of the body. Some days, I can believe that.
I wrote this poem a few years ago after a similar week. It just appeared in the lovely journal Emrys, a journal which has changed shape and design completely since the last time they published a poem of mine.
In your heavy sigh, I hear the sound
of glaciers melting drop by drop,
the crunch of the boot on the neck,
the whispered plotting of antibacterial-resistant staph
germs in a sterile operating room,
the creak of a joint
before it turns to the scraping of bone on bone,
the steady drip of every leaking piece
of plumbing that ever betrayed me.
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