Down to My Elbows (ending on a line by Shakespeare)

hands in a sink
down to my elbows
clogged with gray water
wet rice soggy cornflakes
in the other room
you read Twitter & text
me your favorite jokes

so this is love
i ask the fistful of nasty gunk
in my hand like
it’s a Shakespearean skull
& the skull says
there is nothing either good or bad
but loving makes it so

Excerpted from PROMISES OF GOLD by José Olivarez. Published by Henry Holt and Company. Copyright © 2023 by José Olivarez. Translation Copyright © 2023 by David Ruano González. All rights reserved.