pills before bed. Job swallows, spits, vomits
in the sink. Pink bubbles foam then clog the drain.
Job’s wife cleans what she can with a snake,
unscrews the trap to scoop Job’s sins with a
slotted spoon. So much slips through, the runs
of cheap soup. She gives the best part of her
day to Job, who doesn’t care to learn
how to tell time. He covers every clock face
with his own. Their living room is a museum
of his sorrow. The kitchen is an altar to his
suffering. Job’s wife becomes more wife
than woman. She tans in a lounge chair
on the patio Job built in his better days.
The sun is the only one who will look
at her now. She closes her eyes until
she burns taut blisters, jelly-filled, each one
an island that brings her a little closer to Job.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.