Anxiety of Ten o’Clock

By Miriam Goodman

Account for all the work.
Do the arithmetic: this much finish
day by day. Feel better. You feel
you’re holding cats under a rug.
You balk, refuse your own assignments,
stalk reunion with your other,
lazy self, this one harnessed
in a soggy woolen swimsuit, body
doughy under puzzle straps. She asks
her one repeating question as if
what you have said definitively were
still unclear. In different ways she asks:
always a but, always a what if.
Always impossible to finish.

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