Somehow I don't know how to say nice things. 
Maybe it was my mother — she rarely said nice things, 
even when she meant them, they would come out 

with a screech, "Do your dishes!" when of course 
she meant, "My darling dearest, I do love you." 
For her this wasn't much of a problem, she merely 

drove my father to solitude, locked up in that 
separate bedroom when the grandparents came to visit.
No, it's only been with you, my dearest dear 

that my ungracious mouth has caused disrepute.
All night I could buzz and hum like a steamy mosquito, 
and in fact I have, until your lungs have 

ached for a soothing cigarette, headache rearing, 
and not even hell's bitch could get you erect. 
Through this, while you're sure I despise you

my inner parrot is squawking, "Dishes! Dishes!",
and the soap suds of my foremothers fill the drain.
Such words come reluctantly: "I'm sorry, my love."