He is eighty, She is seventy

married for eternity, yet
haven’t danced together or
sang songs for each other
never used the phrase “I love you”
but both knew it was hanging
if not floating, in the air.

Their beds that were once
one large bed, have a large
silent musical gap in between
on which the frayed
blanket, torn in two, dances.

On his bed, he farts
cause he doesn’t hear,
she gorges even after burps
cause he doesn’t hear
He hates his hearing aid,
now she can’t hear whispers
cause she always yells.
Still, he mutters-
why does she whisper?

She answers his phone calls
cause he doesn’t hear
the loud ringtones
or the hello from the other end.
He complains- “My children have
forgotten me, their children have
forgotten me.” She yells that they
all love him. She won’t say
she loves him, cause he doesn’t hear.

No television, no internet
but both are busy.
Lost in his newspaper
that he never lets her touch,
a treasure he enshrines
on his bedside dating
from some random years.
She stealthily takes a few away
so that the pile won’t fall on him.

High blood sugar, swollen knees
thinning hair, bags under eyes
both sick in their beds.
He makes her tea. His eyes on her face,
getting restless when she isn’t around.
He is scared that tomorrow
when she’ll whisper his name,
the way she does every day,
he won’t be there.

Nanopoblano 2020 – 6/10