Poetry: Timothy Otte

I remember thinking that diseases
                were like a marriage

vow: I’ll give you mine if you
                give me yours—in sickness

and in lesser sickness,
                to have and to give

to any future lovers. A preemptive
                revenge against infidelity—

hope your new partner likes
                this strain, this infection.

New meaning brought to the phrase
                Cleanliness Is Godliness.

But diseases are no marriage,
                no promise, no pact.

Just proof that once we shared our
                selves with each other,

and carry those memories with us
                as evidence, scarring and

damning as they are.

All rights reserved to Timothy Otte.

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Poetry: Caitlin Bailey