I spilled ink on the floor, damn it,
and left it there for a year.
I would look lovingly at it
every so often,
and it would look lovingly back;
perhaps we’d have tea.
But then one day,
one black, anxious day,
I thought I should clean it
“It is better to be in my towels,”
I said. “Better to rumble through
my washing machine.
Better to get in between my fingers
and in my hair.”
it did like being there.
Even I didn’t mind it for a while,
looking in the mirror and pretending
I was something great,
my ink stains living through
bath waters and sprinkler systems.
The turning point is always feeling trapped,
the day I realized I could not get them off,
could not clear my skin of their
could not wash their beleagured soot
out of my scalp,
without cutting off my own