Nathan Lipps

Ablutions in the Dark

She is lowering herself into the tub,

awkwardly with age. Sudden novas

of pain indicating when to pause.

Looking through the window, finally

in water, warm, inviting forgetfulness

she sees her distant husband

bent over, spinning a stone,

sharpening the spade & the harrow

grinding that metal to hot flakes.

Bright shower of fractured steel

dancing around his boots.

Like the idea of root.

In the cool dark morning

in April.

Not for the field or some better capture

of plants unwanted.

But looking defeat in the eye

and saying yes. But like this.

Deeper and slower each day.

Grinding away the effort.

The exquisite tool of living.

Of saying no.

Outside the shed he stops and turns to the still house.

Probably April.

Widening bulbs of hydrangeas tossing in the wind

louder than their abating love.

More fluid than cooling bathwater.

Nathan Lipps is a graduate student at Binghamton University. He studies poetry and German philosophy.