the medicine cabinet

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


About cjchaffin

Wordsmithing is my passion. I eat, sleep, and breathe words and phrases, only to regurgitate them and pray that they are better off than when I first ingested them.
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