23. [untitled] Who is to say that this is not everything? I. Driving across the Bay at 8 a.m., we feel the strain of less than six hours of sleep, as if we are those steel columns holding up a corporate logo near the wetlands preserve. II. Several times a week, at one restaurant or another, we dine off the blood cash of his work, hard-earned, (in part from the military, buying missile systems); guiltless, we eat like the rotund Chinese deities. III. Our heated debates, carried out like war crime trials, are over nothing of much consequence; yet they loom like the shadow of a hawk over rabbits, the peaceful tokei, pounding rice cakes on the moon. IV. With wet towels, he gently cleans my private skin, ridden by an imbalance of natural bacteria; while I bring fresh water and medicines for his cold, despite his suspicion of drugs and the medical establishment. V. Through digital games, we combat each other as otherworld titans, while profuse bloodshed draws gasps from the virtual audience, and fireballs, spinning blades, and kicks fly. VI. Thrilled at driving through the bridge toll without paying, in the carpool lane, we feel like thieves as we speed past the half-mile line, crawling like an arduous centipede. VII. During occasional episodes of love-making, I am like a wary she-wolf come to parley, or perhaps a praying mantis, prone to biting his head off after intercourse, despite intentions of intimacy. VIII. Tug-of-wars between packages and bags, we always struggle to carry more than the other, in hopes of asserting our domination of air or earth, cycling through twelve years, the dragon and the tiger. IX. Sickening carnival rides are operated by a man who cackles while passengers scream and beg for cessation; afterwards, he smokes while I lie on the sun-warmed curb, feeling ill. X. Midafternoons, we nap on the "bed of death", lazy tangle of arms, clothes, legs, and sheets; his hair like a bundle of seaweed, at night his moon face, the patterns of light and dark. XI. Tropical vacation, wanted by neither but done for the other; we bathe in cove water and feast on delicious Thai cuisine between arguments, like a knee with too little ligament, the bones rub. XII. Stares quietly absorb the details of viruses and how they can change cells in the cervix to cancer, spreading into the uterus; how I could return again and again, to feel dizzy and sick after each operation. And driving, always driving, crossing the distance between us.