Let's Negotiate, poetry by Claire L. Marsh at Spillwords.com

Let’s Negotiate

Let’s Negotiate

written by: Claire L. Marsh



“What’s for dinner?”
The question as loaded as our dishwasher,
hurled across the space between us,
at exactly eight pm.

Bleep. Operation dinner mode activated.
My parts sail to the kitchen.
A flick of a switch.
A three-course meal squeezes from my pores.
The table sets itself on your knee.
Our wine glasses are topped.
And we eat,
exactly the meal you imagined.

I’m being asinine, of course.
This happened instead:
“I don’t know, what’s for dinner?”
Your face is confused,
manly brows furrowed,
“I don’t know the options.”
The high road spins in my head.
Instead, I’m a child being force-fed peas.
“There’s this magical thing called a fridge,
you open its door and whoosh,
there’s food inside!”
You accuse me of being facetious. Really, you think?

My words are like peas spat in your face,
“okay, I’ll play…”
I list everything I think we have in the kitchen.
“I don’t care, anything.”
I’m torn, there are too many options:
One, why ask in the first place –
it means the question wasn’t a question.
It was a command, make me food woman!
Two, how do I know what you want to eat?
Three, why can’t you make a decision?
Four, I guess I’m doing it then?
Damn that vagina, it’s clearly the cause.
This all plays through my head.
A cognitive load so heavy,
it surpasses a Sunday wash.
The big one, with bedding and towels.

You clearly live in a world of wonder.
Where shopping is ordered,
then just appears.
Each day, no thoughts like…
Have I taken something out to defrost?
Is that milk about to go off?
Can he eat beef twice in a day?
I bet your head’s nice and quiet.
Of course, it’s not just the eating.
It’s, “have we got any more of my shampoo?”
“Are we on the electoral register?”
And so on.
You’ve outsourced all this stuff,
direct to my brain.
Yet, I can’t remember agreeing.
So, I propose we open negotiations –
I take the bins and you do the rest.
“Wait, have we run out of liners?”

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