by Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
It’s the way you presented it,
the same way you breathed water
into ripples in the bathtub you’d sprinkled
with turquoise salt, absently
sanding your left big toe,
callous smoothed into something
familiar, something I’d felt shaved naked
on the back of your head,
a camel’s hump sans fur.
“It’s cancer,” you said,
as if you’d just named a new poem.
“Are they sure?” I asked.
You nodded and splashed a cup
of fragrant water on your face.
I picked up the perfumed package.
The scent was called “Calming.”