Expensive, soothing bliss,
The bottle called earnestly from
A boutique window, made her
Loosen her tight, small purse.
Lollia Foaming Bubble Bath
More than toiletry, almost art.
Birds, branches and blossoms
Screened onto grateful glass,
Its contents not just pleasant,
She poured it now into her
Rusted, harvest gold tub,
Inhaled the scents of lotus,
Rice flowers and Jasmine.
Bubbles, reached the rim,
Candles dimmed the water
Stains on the peeling ceiling.
Dropping her robe, she settled in,
Sipped from a Champagne glass,
Though it was plunk.
She ignored the wall; the sound
Of the mouse that ignored her traps,
Concentrated instead on the gloss
Of bubbles on parched skin, smoothed
Their effervescence on shins,
Charmed, she swallowed sparkling wine,
Thought about getting drunk.
Bubbles, all the bubbles of her days…
… The third date at the Aquarium, all those
Mouthy, fishy kisses, blue and dark and deep…
… That afternoon, that park, his rash proposal,
A family picnicking near-by, toddlers laughing,
Chasing soap-made globes, crashing…
….Their first dance at the wedding, that magic
Machine filling the room with circular dreams,
Rainbow strobes set to music, romance glowing
Long past midnight…
…Anniversary 10, she’d begged for a baby,
Instead, he’d flown her to Cairo, where they’d taken
A tour of a glass factory, her heart dropping as
Those ornaments were blown, knowing
There would be no nursery, ever, no family tree…
…A year later, ALS began to steal him away,
Relentlessly, the disease scourged, that go-to man
Was gone, leaving frailty, veiled bones, and her to worry
If his IV was really bubble free, all they’d been,
All they ever were, quickly, so quickly diminishing…
… Discovering, after his death, his gambling debt,
Finances shorn, wrecked, all her savings eaten away,
Not even possibility remained, her world burst…
…Getting a job in a mail room, wrapping silly things in
Bubble wrap, wondering why people enjoyed popping
Air trapped in plastic, pointless, who cares…
Her curious landlord cursed upstairs,
As she pruned in cooling water, cringing when
Mating cats yowled, sirens wailed, and a child cried.
Tomorrow she’d buy day old bread, do
Without coffee for several weeks.
But right now, if she closed her eyes,
Lay very still, very low, she could feel
The memory of an undertow, and
hoped at least these bubbles