I am doing your dishes
for the last time
trying not to drop tears
or nasal runoff
into the too-hot soapy water

I see each crack
groove, nick, chip, scratch
in each plate and could tell you where it’s from
when it happened
I was always the one with the memory

I wish I weren’t

I would do your dishes forever
if you’d let me
just to have a role in your life
to make it better, cleaner, simpler, easier
I would do anything

People say these phrases
but they don’t mean them
not until now, at the end
when they actually lose it all
everything’s different when it’s too late

It’s not too late