I don’t even notice
the brown grit building up in the bottom of the bowl
until it looks like the black hole of all my sins,
a build-up of lies, evasions,
the mixed messages I send out.
the excesses I take in,
that extra helping of kasha varniskes,
the spoons full of peanut butter I eat
straight from the jar at night when I can’t sleep.
Then, this morning, as I’m standing up to flush
I see the crust of blackness at the bottom of my life,
see where I am going, down into the sewers with the alligators.
I grab the new toilet brush I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond
last week when the fear of death overwhelmed me so much
I had to buy something, anything, to prove I was still alive,
I’m out of Mr. Clean so I fling open the door to the cabinet
under the sink, get the bottle of Windex, take off the cap and
pour it all into the bowl and the water turns blue,
lapis lazuli blue, blue as the Nile, blue as perfect twilight,
blue as the eyes of a magical cat.
I get to work, scrub and scrub, working the brush
round and round, round and round, leaning into it,
bending my back, using my whole arm,
until the crud at the bottom of the bowl
the blackness, the blackness, the blackness
begins to crack and float around in the blu-ey water
like pebbles, little pebbles getting smaller and smaller,
some of them small as a grain of sand.