"The Friending of Burden" and "omfg"

Suffering, as in, something to care about.

The Friending of Burden

Suffering, as in, something to care about. Suffering, as in, still alive,
the way we must elaborate suffered and died to indicate the ending of burden.

There is this shame in pursuing happiness, in abandoning sadness with no one
to care for it—I understand this sounds like the defending of burden.

When you are drowning, a short breath is better than none. But when
you are crazy, any flash of clarity forces a contending with burden.

I grab the boy by the shoulders, shake him, scream at him to pull himself
together, throw a drink in his face—it’s me, bartending my burden.

I’m Rob? I’ve been Rob this whole time? Thank god for psychosis so I don’t
have to believe any of this actually happened, the sublime suspending of burden.

I am the painting on the wall, my body the security guard standing in front,
but he is on his phone, having long lost interest in attending to burden.

I begin to miss the thrill of volatility, obsession, incessance. When health
comes to me, dull and bored, I find myself recommending him burden.

Why this fear still? There is always a theatre in the hospital where we dance.
There is always a makeshift school where we learn by comprehending our burden.

I have fallen in love with what I cannot do. To have a limit: how delightfully human.
A relief, to lack the responsibility of a god to solve that which impendingly burdens.

Me and Rosie complaining, exchanging office stories—this is where I catch us laughing.
All those nights scrubbing Colgate into her teeth, joyful in the codepending of burden.


oh my fucking goddddd i am so sick of this i literally cannot do this anymore i don’t want to
be articulate i don’t care about “rendering arresting images” i don’t know why i decided
this would be the way i talk about being a little schizo faggot freak like i’m fucking
exhausted of convincing you that we are happy to be alive jesus christtttt i don’t
want to fight for us anymore i just want to sleep for a thousand fucking years
if i have to come up with one more metaphor to make our exceptionalit–
exceptionalnes—whateVER oh myy godddd, our being exceptional
more apparent to you, if i, uh, have to—what was i saying—uh,
uh. fuck. god i’m tired. here’s the thing: i don't need us to have
matching wounds i just need you to know what a wound is.
why am i wounding myself to do that why am i doing all
this for ableds who already have everything jfc crips
deserve frivolity we deserve ease and rest why am i
reaching into this deep well of unwellness just to
prove that when i don’t even think you want to
listen like do you even like poems or are you
just reading this at some coffee shop to
seem cultured omfg these poems will
not make you into a better person
idk what i have to give to you
omfg idk what i even have
what do you mean i have
to give out hope what
are you even talking
about hope hope
where am i
to get

About the author

Rob Macaisa Colgate (he/she/they) is a disabled bakla poet and playwright. He is the author of the poetry collection Hardly Creatures (Tin House, 2025) and the verse drama My Love is Water (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2025). His work appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, American Poetry Review, and Poets.org, among others, and has received support from MacDowell, Fulbright, Lambda Literary, Sewanee, and Kenyon Review. Currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta and managing poetry editor at Foglifter, he received an MFA in poetry and critical disability studies from the New Writers Project at the University of Texas, Austin.