Midnight in the bathroom
and she’s making love with
her husband. She saddles
the chair, heels on the rungs
for leverage, the towel rack behind his neck
threatens to snap under the weight of her
grip. She resists, he resists.
They can ride each other’s eyes
if they want — they’re married, so she can vanish
into him, she can trespass, she can dally.
White noise from the baby monitor
surfs below their wave — it could all go to shit
in a breath. And he’ll tug on boxers,
rush to the child who sleeps through the night
less often than they finish fucking. He lurches up,
hefts her hips onto the vanity, uses
their four-year-old’s potty stool for height—
they’ve got tools in every room. Now
she’s caved in the fruit of his hair, blond
waterfall of freshly shampooed hair,
her back puttied against the mirror. They can recite
favoured phrases, they can say whatever they want,
they’re married, so she can breathe into his ear and watch
the pleasure of her words take effect. She feels her
words bloom in his body.
The child who sleeps
in their bed, in the middle, and wakes once,
twice, usually between foreplay and dawn, whines
through the monitor. They pause. Between them
for four years, and not budging any time soon.
Absence of motion pulls the room into focus:
steam-slicked walls, ribbons of dust in the vent,
Renoir print askew, water damage down one edge —
those women row on that lake forever, the oiled
wheat of the sun, the arching blue of that pool.
She slides her chest across his;
water and sweat. And he watches
the LED dial, the red lights rising and falling
with the sleeplessness of their child. She wants to
lean over, yank the plug, whack it into the tub —