Centipede smashed and the faucets once again fill
that lonely tub tucked into the dirty loft,
so you creak back down stairs, flushed from the kill
and the pink-toed foot soaking its skin soft.
Chamomile bath salt tickles your nostrils and thumb.
Flick those white specks from your half-opened lip
and cross your legs to stopper the blood. Numb
your tongue, taste the salt. Savor your sip
of bathwater stolen from the splash on your hand
because the pink-toed foot wanted very badly to play
before it relinquished the loft to your lone sleep and
dreamed from another room of a later day
when your beautiful fingers will circle its soft, pink toe,
and your salty tongue will never let it go.
Rachel A. Blumenthal is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University Kokomo, where she teaches creative writing workshops and courses on American Literature. Her critical essays have appeared in Arab Studies Quarterly and Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. Her poetry has appeared in The Vanderbilt Review.