Kelly Renick

I just wish you didn’t feel the need

You are most­ly silent but when you do speak you take that tone with me.

My bones break eas­i­ly. You see me as frag­ile, watch where I walk, wrap my ankles in cot­ton when it rains. The doc­tor pulls my bones apart, bends my wrist back, push­es in a way that will allow it to heal in four to six weeks. You hold your arm where mine is broken.

I don’t know what time you get off work and I slept on your couch as your plants died. I don’t take my pills at the same time every day and some­times I don’t take them at all. You are always telling me things for the hun­dredth time, tak­ing that tone with me.

I dream almost every night. People speak in lan­guages I can’t under­stand and the brakes go out in my car.

But then you wake in the mid­dle of the night know­ing that in the morn­ing they’ll find my body washed up on the shore of Sausalito.

I think in num­bers. I count and mul­ti­ply until my brain is a con­trolled thing that won’t go jump­ing off a bridge. But your voice when you say this is some­thing I feel.