Nude in the Bath
Fragments of light, floor tiles,
the bare outline of a towel.
Like Charlene who’s being divorced
and can’t sell her art, giant squares
of flowers and tropical birds
in kindergarten hot pink and neon green,
and she is angry.
She had everything: a stockbroker
husband who bought her an SUV to haul
those canvases to galleries, and every morning
she woke to a studio he designed for her
bordered by windows that framed
chlorophyll greenery and the spiciness
of pink peonies and pool chlorine.
No one ever knows what really happens.
Drop the curtain, it’s dark in there.
In the painting, the woman’s belly is wrinkled,
her breasts a Mediterranean blue.
A small red streak blurs on the tub’s edge,
and the water, it fractures left, right and centre,
Laurel S. Peterson is a Professor of English at Norwalk Community College. Her work has been published in The Distillery, Freshwater, Pinyon, SLAB, Slant, Saranac Review, Texas Review, and others. She has published two poetry chapbooks, That’s the Way the Music Sounds, from Finishing Line Press (2009) and Talking to the Mirror from The Last Automat Press (2010). She also co-edited a collection of essays on women’s justice titled (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience (2009). Her mystery novel, Shadow Notes, will be released by Barking Rain Press in March 2016.
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