The Surrogate

Was thinking of you as I pissed
the chardonnay out, black exile
to sewage. Was thinking of you
and the trusts – thrice taken
that garner no warmth,
but shudder my torso
in the steam of it. And then,

Soft-bodied and filament,
a spider reared up,
from behind the tank,
and topped the unset clock,
flashing twelve and twelve
and twelve again.

And with my one hand free
I plucked it up, loose-pinched
between my thumb and index,
held it up before the mirror,
before the medicine cabinet mirror
and the lights, buzzing connections
bad as daybreak and drought.

And there, high upon the temple,
and the white slopes below I began:

“Take upon thee this innocent.
Take, that I may strike from this mind,
this morning and each morning hence,
these bleak and waterless clouds.
And let me nevermore plunder
such innocence for a larger cleansing,
that each, true to its nature must be.”

And thus, this spider and you,
dropped ritual upon the waters,
yellow and foamed, spun
quickly down the trap,
and a clean sun droned.

Image: Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

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