Here at the sink, shirt ditched,
nipples puckered. The lightbulb blasting
shame. The towel snuggled up with itself
on top of the radiator. The wall, green–
how I should I say it?–light
like the Google Map of Delaware.
The toothbrush dives through my lips,
the bristles groove with my molars.
There’s a reason to sanitize,
I’ve got the mouthful
of a believer. I’ve got a stars-worth
of paste on my chin. I’ve made a promise
to the minutes that I’ll be here for two.
Me, here, scrubbing, wondering how long
I’ll go on buying Colgate, go on choosing
the fire of Max Fresh Mint. Fire?
White fire. The smoke of
the snow of Antarctica–
don’t tell me you’re not worried
for the eleven babies ever born there,
with brains all sorts of bad probably
from chugging chilled milk.
Don’t tell me it didn’t hurt–
that night I slapped an ice cube on my wrist.
And held it there. With its tiny tears
scurrying to my palm. My veins
choked with blueberry jam.
And mercy old news.