“Tired” by Anele Rubin

Anele Rubin


I am tired of the Merck Manual
the Journal of the American Medical Association
Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Boston Women’s Health Coalition
diagrams of the endocrine system
lists of danger signs
the way to check each mole
each breast, each node
how to know
when the joint swelling
or the leg swelling
when the mood swings
or the panic
are more than just normal
I am tired of clinical trials
and chemical imbalances
and little white pills
in small amber bottles
with white plastic lids
you have to press or squeeze
while turning.
I am tired of the Latin names
and popular misconceptions
experimental procedures
herbal remedies.
I am tired of the worst-case scenarios
the normal aging process
debilitating illness
the mind-body relationship
autoimmune responses
placebos and control groups
the respiratory system
the cardiovascular system
white specks on the fingernails
tingling in the hands or feet
loss of sensation
short-term memory loss
short circuit in the brain
hematoma, hemoglobin, serotonin
accelerated heart rates, normal deviations
serious reactions, genetic mutations.



I was sitting in the chair near the window
if we did not have bodies
when the sky seemed to enter
the room.

I am tired of the complications
of this body-having.
I think we’ve taken on
more than we can handle.

If I try I can hear the creek water gurgling
and the mother swallow speaking to her babies
in the nest above the window
and in the far distance
a dog is barking
all else being quiet

except inside
the sounds
a live body
hears itself make

and now gentle rain
hitting the grass,
the roof, the window sill.

from Rattle #49, Fall 2015


Anele Rubin: “I write because a mare puts her heavy head on my shoulder and the beaver sitting on shore gnaws and gnaws the bark off a stick and the moon is swimming in the dark ripples of the pond. I write because my mother cannot tell me again how she hid behind the cellar door to eat the bonbons she’d told the grocer to put on her poor mother’s bill, or how the kids in school would ask her again and again where she lived just to hear her Lithuanian accent turn ‘L Street’ into ‘Hell Street.’ I write because my sister’s voice grows fainter every day and a three-year-old asks me to play with him. I write because the sky is constant and ungraspable and thoughts disappear so quickly if you don’t hold onto them. I write because I want to hold on, to hold, to savor. I write because of birth and death and how ignorant we are. I write because I want to see what’s going on inside, I want to ask myself some questions.”

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