“What’s Worth Fixing” – Freesia McKee

What’s Worth Fixing

The bed frame we got for free on Craigslist
is breaking. Big surprise. The black IKEA particleboard
will snap in half eventually. The two-

by-fours and metal rods my girlfriend’s used
to reinforce the slats fall off their narrow ledges
every couple days. I bet the other owner

had this problem—Alphonso on 82nd Street
who called us again a few months later
when he had a lamp to give away.

The mattress sinks
in different places. Don’t worry; I’ll fix it,
my girlfriend says. With what? I ask. With fixers.

Of course. If only every problem was this funny,
if every acquaintance called with more
kind and friendly news. We lift the mattress to peep

the frame, the recent damage, listening
to Democracy Now’s newest report of Kiribati,
a whole country sinking into the ocean.

We chose to move to Florida. After months of purging,
I don’t like to think about how easily we filled
our new apartment’s two rooms like a Styrofoam cup

at the soft drink machine. When you know a problem
might reoccur, should you try to fix it anyway? Yes, she says
again. We lift the fixers from the floor and get the drill,

a new and necessary purchase after
we gave away most of her tools.
The joke we broke the bed

is funny only so many times, but I tell it again
and she humors me. As with any pair of women,
someday our fastenings will sink

after death or disagreement. Someday,
this whole street, entire city may also drift below. For now,
we make a soft impression, our arms
around each other on this mattress of a raft.

Author Bio: Freesia McKee is author of the chapbook How Distant the City (Headmistress Press, 2017). Her words have appeared in cream city review, The Feminist Wire, Painted Bride Quarterly, Gertrude, Nimrod International Journal, and the Ms. Magazine Blog. Her book reviews have appeared in South Florida Poetry Journal, Gulf Stream, and The Drunken Odyssey. Freesia is the winner of the 2018 Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry, chosen by Sarah Vap.

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