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things are getting worse.

by Brynn Dizack

residual // noun.
from "residue".

something left over.
coffee grinds.
sand in a shoe.

an unwanted substance -- just
a memory of a memory;
the slow burn of embers becoming ash.

this heat.

it implicates the by-product of a chemical reaction:
the fusion of functioning things into an obsolete mass.

the bone-white tub,
black-red rust spot,
and mornings the color of aquarium glass.
she can't remember.

i am noticing how she passes her battles on to me:
we sit in her dark living room with the shades drawn; --i am
scrubbing the residue out from under my fingernails
after a night at the restaurant.

she is bottlefeeding hers, with the eyedrops.
head tipped back towards the ceiling,
a series of shallow nods.

these are our rituals.
the memory of a memory.

what's left.


Author's Note: diagnosis: secondary sjogren's syndrome, compounded with acute cone dystrophy. result: one, small, moving spot of residual vision in the right eye remaining, the use of which is incredibly painful.

Posted on 08/03/2006
Copyright © 2022 Brynn Dizack

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/04/06 at 01:49 AM

A vivid poem about a very difficult situation, both for you and for her. "memory of a memory" - great line, and very sad...

Posted by Karl Waldbauer on 11/03/06 at 08:34 AM

"these are our rituals" speaks so loudly to me. Great read, Brynn.

Posted by Elizabeth Seago on 12/03/06 at 05:51 PM

"and mornings the color of aquarium glass. she can't remember." I absolutely love that line. Your work is exsquisite, Brynn. I say that in sincerity. Great read. -Liz

Posted by Ava Blu on 01/23/11 at 09:10 PM

i'm nothing but residue.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 01/27/12 at 03:45 PM

this poem is nothing short of astounding. the imagery and the rhythm of the piece is so vivid, and solid, the solidity of which will remain like a pebble in the mind and even in the heart.

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