Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 01/06/21

To Bathe or Not

I honor my father’s soap
12 years since he’s used it.
It sits untouched in it’s dish
on the lip of a cast iron basin
remembering perhaps
it was the last object
to touch him intimately.

No one cleans here anymore.
Water comes out yellow
with chunks of rust
to remind us
everything decays.

I’m told I may use it
if I can make the water run clear
and don’t use daddy’s soap
letting the unseen molecules
of my father linger.

This neglect
is a ritual of love
not cleanliness.
It is a shrine
not a tub.

I pay my respects
by noticing
and find clean water
elsewhere.

©2021 Belinda Subraman All rights reserved.

Belinda Subraman has been writing poetry since the 6th grade and publishing since college. She had a ten year run editing and publishing Gypsy Literary Magazine 1984-1994. She edited books by Vergin’ Press, among them: Henry Miller and My Big Sur Days by Judson Crews. She also published Sanctuary Tape Series (1983-89) which was a mastered compilation of audio poetry and original music from around the world. She’s been published in 100s of magazines, printed and online, academic and small presses. She has a Master of Arts from California State University. Her archives are housed at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Her latest book is Left Hand Dharma from Unlikely Books, 2018.

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