Thursday, November 22, 2018


You Kept Doing It

You kept doing it.
You tipped over the box of photographs
and they spilled all over the floor.
You left your purse with the passports back in the cabin.
You couldn’t understand the point of that important movie because
you can’t conceptualize.
You spaced out when that lady got on the bus speaking your language
and you could have helped her say what she needed
but you weren’t paying attention.
What were you thinking about?

You kept doing it.
You broke stuff.
You said the wrong things.
You were hungry when it wasn’t time and thirsty
—-Goddamn it can’t you see there’s nothing to drink? —
when he wasn’t.
When he didn’t talk for the two days it took
to go from Vienna to Istanbul you kept asking what was wrong.

And you kept doing it.
You made too much of the food he didn’t like and not enough of what he did.
You smiled when that guy was talking to you.
You used that awful diaphragm except for the time when you didn’t
and you know what happened next.

Sometimes he wanted to just punch you but he would never do that,
of course, you knew he loved you.
You would let him massage your back and your feet.
You would let him read your journals whenever he wanted.
You would let him make love to you so well that you would keep thinking about it
all the next day.
And you just kept on doing it.

- Tamara Madison

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