A Lure


I spent the morning in an act
of service, scrubbing the tub
so I might bathe you in it.
Outside, they were hunting
with horns and dogs braying,
and I stayed naked,
on my knees, cleaning.

There is a particular rhythm
to devotion, I’ve noticed,
like a small wave breaking
on the rocky beach of a pine-
collared northern lake, made
by a boat gliding slow
so as not to disturb the prey
waiting beneath the mirror
it traverses. There is a keening,
always, if only we could hear it,
coming from both
those hunted
and the hunters, nearing
each other and their red meeting.

When I fill the tub the water
will be clean. When I wash you
your skin will pink. This is
what I love. I love
what is simple: the constant
drumbeat, maroon foldings that encase
your suffering. I love what is elastic,
what can bear stress without tearing.
The net pulled softly around us,
the cords of our voices untethering.