There are two razors charging on the counter,
wires crossed one over another.
It seems strange to me
that a man grown from a seed inside my body
leans over this sink now.
He bends down into the mirror and lifts his chin
to catch the spares.
Here my daughter stands and turns in the light,
fixing her scarf round.
Day filth has collected on every slick surface,
grey dinge and stray hairs.
Little boy hands sweaty,
black-oiled from the playground mulch
have been washed pink then hurry, hurry
wiped fast on wilted old towels.
They need changing.
My husband stood here early this morning
skin steamed soft by the shower.
He was lathered and spiced.
He didn’t wake me when he broke this day before the sun
to chase down provision and ring it round.
He only bent in silence and cloves to kiss me in my nest.
We have all stood on this tile floor,
dirty and bare,
working to scrub the world off of us.
In this room we have purged the fowl
and stained the sanitized
like a dirty joke destined to be
told behind closed doors.
Here is the punchline.
We make such messes of things.
I spray, scrub, and scour,
not liking much what I am required to touch here.
There is a scale in the floor,
intended to measure the totality of our push against the earth,
as if five or twenty pounds
(or even a hundred)
could make much of an impression.
But here is what I can do.
I can put a fresh towel on the counter
and make these walls shine.
I can make this room smell like lemons.
I can tidy these shelves and straighten these magazines.
I can wipe each silver handle until it catches the light.
Passing by, I look into the mirror.
I see lines carved by a mighty loss.
I hardly recognize myself these days.
But here is what is left.
I can make this room ready
for the terrible confessions of earth.
I can bring it bright as hope.
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Featured Image by Paul Boekell