Dark eyes

by Sarah Gawricki


I was giving her a shower.

I’m there for two hours to help with personal care.
Make sure she brushes her teeth,
remind her it’s Tuesday.
After towel drying her so they could put on the hemorrhoid cream,
I handed her a comb
and began rubbing lotion over her legs;
smooth like a child’s.
Veins still tucked behind flesh:
invisible with a firm,
earned elasticity.
You must have taken good care of yourself.

I enjoyed rubbing them.
Years of tall glasses of water
running through those hidden blue streams
electrifying her cells,
tightening the gaps that so many of us have.
Crackers with avocado instead of Nutella,
early retirement on fluffy pillows,
watching the dawn cut the sky,
flossing,
filing nails.
She was just so full of tranquility,
days worth spending,
assets,
responsible parables,
a mother who taught her how to bake bread,
crack eggs & iron hems.
She contemplated & said:

*I like your dark eyes.*

Pacing the harbor with a flask
& a plan to really “do it this time,”
a hoard of worker bees
who show me what their insides look like,
sleepy evenings that end in the bottom of
everyone,
mislaid plays written in spilled fingerpaint,
sprinkles of tobacco on the seat,
thirsty kidneys,.
a community that taught me how to cower
at words.
Bedroom hair and cries that
freeze beneath my cheeks
turn to moans
melt
on tongues.

My eyelashes hurt.
My legs feels like sequoias.
I am just so full of nights.

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