I wonder how many people have a sink full of dishes that need doing and I wonder how many of those people stare at the stained ceramic and cannot lift their hands.
And of those people I wonder how many of them have hands that are cracked open and reddened and how many of them have mothers whose hands are the same.
Has the bedside lotion run out? Or is it simply that they cannot keep pace with the washing, and the washing, and the washing.
When I can’t fall asleep I count the number of things I know for certain. I count the black branches through the window. I count my own cracked knuckles.
And I count how many times I have not been able to lift my hands.
Mariel Fechik is a queer writer who lives in Chicago, IL and works in a library. She sings for the bands Fay Ray and Moon Mouth and writes music reviews for Atwood Magazine. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and Bettering American Poetry, and has appeared in Hobart, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, Barren Magazine, and others. She is the author of Millicent (Ghost City Press, 2019) and An Encyclopedia of Everything We've Touched (Ghost City Press, 2018). Instagram: @mariel_fechik; Twitter: @marielfechik; marielnicolefechik.com.