The morning after, in the shower, I think how the French say to wash
se laver, which has stuck with me despite systematic rules of romance
languages disappearing from my brain. I like the way it must reflex
the way I circumscribe my stories of the night before, even now, self-
censoring the turns of phrase I use to describe. What did happen.
What did not happen. I crouch down in the shower because I’m not above
hardworn cliche. I almost wrote—stillborn. My elbow grazes Orpheus
(not allusion, my cat—but still a metaphor), who likes how the water
boils. From his side of the plastic curtain, rivers of light transform
the sight of me, distort whatever part he normally recognizes.
When beads form in the cracked tile near him, he reaches out a paw,
focused on each tiny bubble, unable to comprehend the whole, self-
indulgent in the way of cats. He is not afraid of my vocabulary lessons
in the languages of love: on, into, upon, beyond, after.