Shutdown Melancholy

It all happens quickly,

the way our bodies fold,

warm up to the concept

of a morning

rush. We forget sleep in the shower;

we contemplate coffee on the balcony,

then tie our shoelaces inside

thoughtless motions.


And melancholy

keeps me from swearing

at the bad drivers in the concrete storm,

and that is the little difference

between us.


It’s day 28 of the government shutdown–

someone at work doesn’t even

look away from the computer;


an email

tells us what subjects are too heavy

for our office stomachs.


A co-worker flips through

a cookbook: “I can do this, but I would

add more ginger.” This is silence

as everything changes.


At 5 pm., we still ask the other:

how was work today?

We shrug as I spoon garlic

on oil and wait for the aroma.


The sleepiness starts again

when I hear the serious tone

of a news anchor voice,

the early sunset,

in the background.


The shutdown

won’t end today, or tomorrow–

how will this end is my question

to you, or to no one. We don’t

have immediate answers,

so I stir as your head rests on my shoulders.


How fast, I remember why there’s melancholy

…how fast.

governmentgovernment shutdownlifemelancholytiredness

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