the medicine cabinet
In this bathroom, I am safe
from the taunts, threats and
terrible smells that rise from his bed.
I stand in front of the mirrored medicine cabinet,
pick at the chipped paint around the edges, run
my fingers over the cracks that spider out from the center.
Quietly, I go through the things that remind me of better days,
when he smelled of Old Spice and peppermint toothpaste
instead of vomited beer, sweat and unwashed armpits.
I savor the feel of the old badger-hair brush,
sniff his dried up L’Occitane shaving soap
as I engage in a tug-of-war with time.
I dab a little of his aftershave on my skin,
wrinkle my nose at the fact that it smells exactly
the same as it did twenty five years before.
I hear him cough and sputter, hear him call out for her.
She won’t be back; we all know it.
He knows it too, I suppose.
God, how I wish he would puke in the damn toilet
like a normal person.
I should let him wallow in his own filth,
drunken filthy pig that he is.
But I am not that kind of man.
I close the cabinet, glare at the overgrown child
who wants his daddy back.
It is time to change the bed sheets.
Copyright © 2011 by Christopher Chaffin – All rights reserved