Rob Colgate
Abecedarian for the Care Shift I Failed to Show Up For
 Abandon implies intention, which I must
be honest, is correct in this case: I did
choose not to help you. Wishing I were
dead, or at the very least that I didn't
exist—this depression is both what I felt after
forsaking you, but also what kept me from
giving you that ride to the doctor in the first place.
How to compare us: I am plagued by moods I cannot
indoctrinate into the common sense of sense.
Juror of reality I will never be. But your
kidneys do not flush. Every day, those
lithe salts becoming less nimble, losing
momentum, no longer willowing through
nephrons ever-quieter. We both admit to it: 
overwhelmed. By my psychosis seeming to limit
possibility instead of expanding. By your blood's
qualifications no longer sufficient, leaving only 
redness and stillness. Move, blood. No, I cannot
say that; that was my job. I fucked up. There is
traffic in your tubules. There is a lonely, panicked
urologist. Each of your glomeruli are wrapped in
velvet. My dendritic garden is overrun with
weeds that trap me in my own nonsense, their ugly
xanthophyll making us miss your dialysis appointment.
You cannot tell me it's ok, but you cannot tell me it's not—
there is no right way to end this.
Found In Volume 53, No. 01
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  • Rob Colgate
Rob Colgate
About the Author

Rob Colgate (he/she/they) is a disabled, bakla, Filipino-American poet from Evanston, IL. His work appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets,, Sewanee Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and Adroit, among others; his writing has received support from Macdowell, Fulbright, the Kenyon Review, and Tin House. He holds a degree in psychology from Yale University and an MFA in poetry and critical disability studies from the New Writers Project at UT Austin. Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta and serves as poet-in-residence at Tangled Art + Disability.