What Is There About Us Always by Tracy Rittmueller

What Is There About Us Always

You gave me a teacup, terra-cotta inside, outside
. . . . . . . . . . . .sun-washed like some villas in Italy.
It pleased me, as it pleases me when
. . . . . . . . . . . .every morning you wake early
to prepare my tea, even now when you cannot remember
. . . . . . . . . . . .the day, washing dishes I knocked my teacup
against the faucet. My teacup. I gathered
. . . . . . . . . . . .ochre shards, trashed them on the day’s spent tea
leaves, said nothing. Finding those fragments
. . . . . . . . . . . .you spoke one word. Oh. Rinsed them,
dried them, glued them together. Later
. . . . . . . . . . . .you brought home a miniature cactus
encircled with thorns. You potted
. . . . . . . . . . . .potentially maiming barbs, tamed them
in that teacup, fragile as the distinction between scars
. . . . . . . . . . . .and art. Sometimes I worry your tenuous
memory will fracture our companionship.
. . . . . . . . . . . .But I know who you are, always the one
who salvaged those wrecked remnants—
. . . . . . . . . . . .my heart—to restore that broken vessel—me.

by Tracy Rittmueller

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Editor’s note: Brilliant use of enjambment and indention mimic the broken pieces of the speaker’s cup and emotions, making the last three lines of this poem all the more powerful.