E.C. Gannon

Summer on the Back Porch

When I say he bathed in Kentucky bourbon,
I don’t mean that metaphorically; I mean he
filled the old metal tub out in his backyard
with water and a couple of splashes of Jim
Beam, just to really get himself clean, every
evening around six o’clock. At first, I’d watch
from my back porch as he stripped down to
his boxers and lowered himself slowly into the tub,
wincing like the water was cooler than I knew
it was. We were connected to the same well,
after all. He never used soap, just splashed
the water over his arms and laid back, the base
of his skull against the edge of the tub. As it
started to get dark, he’d turn on the transistor
and listen to the Oldies with Bob Harlow.
Afterward, without draining the tub, he’d go
inside, and soon after, he’d crack his bathroom
window and start his shower. I’d pour another
glass of sweet tea and light another cigarette,
looking at the stars as he hummed. Eventually,
I’d fall asleep, and when I’d wake up to a dog
barking down the street, the tub would be drained
and his pickup would be gone from the driveway.

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E.C. Gannon’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Meadow, Molecule, Olit, and elsewhere. A New England native, she holds a degree in creative writing and political science from Florida State University.