Grown Man, Crying

In the claw foot
tub running over,
his purple corona bobs
like a bell-shaped buoy
in the white-capped

he hums and scrubs
peppermint soap into
tingling scalp, sheepishly smiling,
watching her do up the lacy black
garter snaps

with one stiletto heel hitched high
on the toilet tank top, and a long strand
of raven hair balanced on the bridge
of her nose. When she blows

the bang, exasperated, across
her brow, saying “What did I tell you
about putting the seat down, Calvin?”

—he thrashes in the water
like an alligator on a goose neck,
the shampoo running slowly down
into his brown eyes held

wide open
to the sight of her sex

now straddling

the still-running tub faucet a few
steaming feet from his face.

And how can we begrudge
this man his tears, as he rises

slowly out of the water
to the beckoning crook
of her wet forefinger for
yet another lesson?

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