He thinks of her in the shower,
when the water splashes
against the bottle of cherry shampoo
that sits in the corner,
enveloped now by a ring of pink mildew.
He already can’t remember
the proper outline of her fingernails
or just the right shape of the soles of her feet,
but when the rubber band for her hair
− twist tie? hair tie?
falls from the medicine cabinet,
he can almost see her messy ponytail
as he leans his head against the wall.
He takes the tie from the sink
and loops it around his wrist,
three now in a neat, cheerful row.
He will take the stairs down one at a time,
and he will eat from the stale cereal box,
and he will almost make it off of the couch
before their answering machine picks up
and she buries him in the cushions again,
telling him that she
are not home.
Carrie Bachler is a fiction editor at Halfway Down the Stairs.
© 2011, Carrie Bachler