Inside the tub, the drain, filthy, stuck, bubbles over, an open sore.
This is where metaphor lives: a beetle on the cloudy mirror. Close the door.
I want you to lay next to me in this gray water, rest just a little
until we both cool off, until our skin molts, we are only flesh and here are my bones.
In this dim light, we stagnate: white foam, silence, doldrums.
Honey, hold me up. I keep slipping, the thick air, the light,
the wet prison of my ribcage. We are both naked and emptied.
In the lattice above the window, a mouth curls up and open, smile or grimace,
the swirl of eyes, down spiral, Medusa, maybe, Medea, a mad wanting—Give me something
to turn me away, a bit of color, rosy tinged, an iris, a body you’ll carry home from war, as a friend.
Or, to be shrouded in a fog so thick you’ll never see or touch me; to stay here, objectified in every way,
above where you rest, so decorative I am outside notice or worship. Outside defile.
Chip me away, see what your mind makes then in the space I held. An object of desire.
Sara Moore Wagner
Sara Moore Wagner lives in West Chester, Ohio with her husband and three small children. She is the recipient of a 2019 Sustainable Arts Foundation award, and the author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals including Poet Lore, Waxwing, The Cincinnati Review, and Nimrod, among others. She has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Find her at saramoorewagner.com.