Diagnosis: The Pain as Lover

How long have you had this man?
Do you have him all the time?
Have you ever been free of him?
Does he come often?
Is he there when you wake up?
Does he wake you from sleep?
When he's away do you feel quite well?

What is he like?
Like a toothache, a bad bruise, a knife?
How bad is he when he's at his worst?
Does drinking make him worse?
Does eating seem to help?
What can't you do when he's there?
Are you partially disabled? Totally?
Take this prescription.
If he persists, lie down in a darkened room.
With time
perhaps you'll learn to live with him.