When Mothers Would Bathe You

A careless girl is warm and cool like cornflower blue

filling the tub with a sweat-heavy heart

Where home sweet home is

sweet and sour

as a purse full of stolen sauce packets

And you’re a tidy list of pleasant tasks,

assembled with the discreet love

of a wet finger taming a curl.


(Count one by one) each

toe a flower petal floating

on the surface

(One joy at a time) four

wet feet on a wet tile floor is every day

a reminder to be good


And like water realizing light,

I know you flicker even when my eyes are closed