The Bath


Baths have been forbidden

for ten days. Showers permitted

not long after surgery, but

baths were taboo, proscribed,

verboten. Unsure what to do

with this sudden wealth, first

there was reading. The prose

unremarkable, but the story

gripping. Then, watching

a show, while tending to feet

darkened by chemo (hyper-

pigmentation, it’s called) and

by garden soil that found its way

past flimsy shoe barriers.

Soaking and pumicing and

sugar scrub, and now these

feet are soft and smooth,

ready for kisses, should any

be offered. The bald scalp

has been washed as well,

dried and lotioned, and now

the faint trace of stubble has

a fuzzy halo, inviting touch.

Showers are refreshing, but

baths are seductive. Tonight,

maybe another bath, maybe

with wine and chocolates. I

will wrinkle into a raisin; you

will know me by my wrinkles,

soft and numerous and lush.