Squeeze to form a ball at the tip and pull the bead 
through the valley of the seam where the tile meets the tub. 
The label on the tube says “Brilliant White.” The walls
have been grouted and now the finishing touches apply.
It’s been a long weekend. There were errors and lessons. 
What married people like to call future references. 
So if you will be so kind, step in here with him and stand 
in this naked, bruised, porcelain boat, dry-docked 
by leaks and mutinous mold. Stand with him like you can, 
without his knowing. Stand close enough so that he might 
feel you watching, so he will believe he has done something.
He has scraped the stains and slapped on the new skin. 
He has missed a square or two. His arms and shirt 
are mortar mud. It flakes as if he were made of stone. 
But he is nearly done and if you whisper in his ear
he will know there is a word for living this everyday life. 
Hardly anything is noticed. All an imperfect alabaster. 
A hair in the soap dish. Rust in the bowl. A gurgle 
in the plumbing and a shudder brings the hot. 
All this for what? Just her soft body, arms crossed 
over her knees while the water rises through her folds 
and a froth of foam fills that space. What more is there
to learn, but that to get the straighter, tighter seal, one
must use the finger along the fault, as if tracing
down her spine the gentle contour of the earth.
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