Thursday, September 29, 2011

By Rebecca L. Morrison

In the shower I slipped,
and the nail belonging to my
left foot's big toe bent
all the way back to reveal
rare, strange flesh, virgin
like the fresh peach pulp that
hung from my high school lips
when Ben, teenage god,
swim team captain, took me
on wooded picnics to touch
what was growing fresh and fast
beneath my blouse. The third July he
left, and I cried like Catherine when
Henry penned Greensleeves for that
eleven-fingered, google-eyed
harlot called Anne, but her name
was Caitlin, and on my eighteenth
birthday I drank too much Chambord
at a rock concert, and told her I wished
she were dead. Sometimes I still see
the harlot home-wrecker on my college
campus, and I look her in the eyes
and greet her by name like a band-aid
on sweating skin. Post-slip, I bought
a bathmat; it clung to the floor
of my tub for six months but
its pearlescent surface grew
soil-stained from my soles
and their summer barefoot filth,
and when I ripped it up from its
porcelain bed, my cat jumped
at the staccato pops of lost
suction, and I cringed at the
clammy grout I'd allowed
to fester beneath its clear, plastic cups --

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