Wash daily, we're told.
But bathing is a dirty trick
to remind us each of how quick
even the hottest bath turns cold.
I sometimes, alone,
soak naked in an empty tub,
a cast iron maiden when she's free of all
our shiny bones & blackened suds.
I'll draw a bath, but not bathe;
just a plug & hot water to the brim.
Moonfaced, I loom over, too much like Li Po,
hunched down to tongue around
the furled brink of that always frigid rim.
Let me back in the bath.
Remember me. Won't you
wrap my face with celluloid film
skinned from the veneer
of our antique bathwater?
Everybody back in the bath!
I will scratch & scrub
the itch on your back,
the filth from our forms;
I will never drain this tub.