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A Supplication to the Shower Goddess of Iowa City, Iowa, for a Hot Shower Before I Teach My Eight-Thirty AM Class on Friday, February 27th, 2004.

Impluvia, hot fingered,
please be there when I open the spigot.
I woke up cold.
Water has such high specific heat,
hard to warm, I know this uniquely,
I never take it for granted.
I know the molecule’s stubborn shape and
your hard work graces me.

Every time you redden me with your heat
in this four hundred dollar a month,
century-old Midwestern hulk
wrapped in dun insul-brick,
oak framed, frost inside the windows,
when your heat enters the inadequate,
poorly maintained, obsolete boiler in the cellar,
when you close the thermostat circuit,
when you keep the others asleep and
save yourself for me,
it is a miracle of hotness.

One May, in Virginia,
I walked two hundred forty miles of woods
from Shenandoah to Macfee's knob,
in sixteen days of unbroken cold
rain, and I prayed to you
every night in my sleeping bag,
listening to the cold
bitch of your sister for
sixteen fucking days.

I am cold like that now.
Please let me, yes,
to find, yes
the hotness of your eternally
firm eternally hot
eternally wet body
here, flowing
behind the curtain, yes
beading.

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