Doing the Dishes Before Leaving to Have an Abortion
No sense in leaving a mess of things.
As she waits for the water to warm,
she recalls the creek in the backyard
of her childhood farm, the current cold
as the newborn kitten she cradled
close to her chest, how she cried
when it faded during the first hour.
To protect her red manicure,
she wears rubber gloves, yellow
as dandelions that sprouted
in the spring along the path
to the barn where she hid beneath hay
where her brothers never found her,
emerging later, the feral odor
clinging to her like a burnt offering.
When the sink fills, she drowns the dishes.
While washing, she gazes out the window,
the neighbor man’s house a stone’s throw,
like the woman caught in adultery,
how she got saved for a moment
but how later her flow dried up.
No time to dry dishes.
On the way the cabbie jabbers,
talking about his ex,
asks how to blur out stuff
in digital pictures, how he doesn’t see
his kids that much, but they know how
much he loves them, working two jobs,
how that’ll be twenty-seven fifty,
and do you want me to wait?
While rummaging her fat purse
for the untraceable cash she brought,
she knows the dishes will be dry
by the time she makes it home.