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May 2014
She’s scrubbing dishes too hard in our gutted sink;
the garbage disposal has been coughing up bile,
black coffee grounds still stinking of Jameson.

It was cold last weekend, so I’d made her a treat—
coffee as Irish as her mother’s on Christmas Eve
after all seven children went grumbling to bed.

But I spiked the percolator rather than her cup.
So she’s scouring the coffee ***, scraping
rusted filaments of wire wool over black-stained

Inox Steel, erasing my mess.  I try to kiss her cheek
as I squeeze behind her to toss another can in the trash.
Her hunched and weighted shoulders are cold

and she ignores me. Drenched with the tiredness
of soapsuds and bleach, eyes red and dripping,
hands perfumed with ammonia, her body folds.

I smile a smile of false teeth and true love,
awestruck at the bubbles that cling to her elbows.
She is beautiful, cracked and exhausted.
Written by
featherfingers  swpa
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