BY LAUREN SCHLESINGER
Home from work, I—so tired—I drop
my bag at the doorframe and kick off
two sickled shoes. I turn on no lights.
But I hear the water pounding fast
fists out of hell against the tub—I
must have turned it on. But it is
not good water until it boils.
To prepare—I take the brick of fig
scented soap and drop it over the
balcony into someone’s garden.
To my husband, I write—Do not for
-get to water the birds. Thank you. –Grace—
beside the nest with two interwoven
bird-skeletons. Can I hear only
water now that it is near ready.
I wrench the handle to Off and flush
my ruby earrings down the toilet.
I send my dress down the disposal.
Into the bath—I step with every
pen and cartridge. All that I have had
I break each one over my body.
You should see the ink run—black and blue
laces down my arms. Bleeding carbon
black pollutes and fuses into black
lead veins—the veins that divide color
from color in a stained glass window
—I see it. The plane of the body
is a window without colors. But
it is all well. My husband will be
home soon to color between the lines
of this house—to take care of it all.
Even the faucet that now drips—clear
droplets disturb one grayed surface.
Hear with me—hours of drops until
I recall that I never married.
And I rise—to water the birds myself.