Getting Clean – rough draft

Scrub the grout from green and cream tiles along the tub-rim;
go over their smooth cleanness with caulk. Scrub the rings
left by forgotten bottles of shampoo and conditioner, still
smelling faintly of cinnamon musk. Toss blue powdered cleaner
in the toilet bowl, wait two minutes, scrub. Scrub the mirror
above the sink, white streaks of toothpaste and water. You always hated
when his spit flecked the glass. Scrub hands with pomegranate soap suds,
ignoring the cracked red hatch-marks outlining each knuckle.

Scrub charcoal lines of mascara off ruddy skin. Scrub what’s left,
foundation and blush, from jaw lines and forehead.

Scrub even the dowel rods – don’t think about the monogrammed towels
that used to hang there – and wipe them dry. Drape with new, striped linens.

Turn the knob in the shower all the way to the right and wait
until steam reeking of cleaner rises up from the tile.
Scrub scarlet fingers into your scalp.


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