Such is the detritus of living: this afternoon
I swept the cum rags from the towel rack
in the bathroom, where we’d amassed them.
An arcane way of keeping time, no doubt,
two for this day, three for the one after,
skipped a day for a uti. Why we were
using cloth instead of paper, I can’t say, you
were the one who went in there afterward,
then returned to swipe gently at my back,
my shoulders, my belly. Those are the places
you’ve been. Those are the places wiped
clean of you. It was a practical decision:
cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry.
But I can’t yet heave the bed back into
the corner where it belongs, when it had been
hauled so wildly, helplessly across
the floor by our bodies. You’re so little, you
said, your entire wingspan wrapped around
my torso, hands crossed over my ribs, tilting
us both forward. The sheets stained with blue-
berries, all the clothes we discarded without
thought, gathered in deposits along the edge. I
threw some of them back at you when you were
going. I didn’t think it through, what I’d want
to keep, what I would have left.

Calgary Martin