Tom Jacobs  © 2006 All Rights Reserved


Handwash furtively in rosewater
if you like her but don’t love her.
Or in holy water, genuflecting
with like converts. Abandon
machinery for a gentle cycling
of rainfall. Soak overnight
in incense and penance.
Dry in warm grass crushed
by lovers. Sunlit, tumbling.
Or flung up on a high branch
of a dogwood tree. No iron
needed. Just leave crumpled
at the foot of her bed. Later,
steam in a shower, her breath
on your neck. Press under
her body. All balm and salt.
Dirty again and then—
Repeat, repent.

Kristen Silver
Copyright © 2006


Kristen Silver grew up in Akron, Ohio and earned a BA in English from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. She lives with her husband and two dogs in Oakton, Virginia, and this spring, she will graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University. This is her first published poem.

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