Unzipped (a fresh take)

This is a fresh take on a poem I wrote last fall. The original poem had a stanza that focused on the scene depicted in this poem, but the rest of the poem talked about other things. I received a suggestion that I should further explore that one stanza, and now I’m finally getting around to it.

Watch her open the shower curtain from the outside
sluggish with disbelief in humid iron air
the bitter taste of blood metal curling like steam
fingers from beneath the door.

Watch her bend over his body, the same shade as fresh
bleached bathtub. The bits of gray in his hair against
ivory like steel wool to scrub his mess clean.

Watch her inspect his unzipped arms
leaving artery open to air (blood isn’t red until
it breathes), wondering if she might be able
to stitch him back together.

Watch her slide her shoulder blades to the floor
to share his view: the mold yellowed ceiling, the
lines of water damage peaking through plaster
like infection.

Watch her in silence,
it is the only prayer she knows.









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