This morning the plumbing sighs
that impatient sigh that suggests
how the world’s water supply
has tired of servicing humans.
The hot water faucet dripping
in the bathtub angers you
with a waste of the resources
on which our retirement relies.
I’m too gnarled to turn a wrench
the way a wrench wants to turn.
Too rusty to handle small parts
like plastic washers and O-rings.
Too intemperate to sweat-solder
the copper piping we reclaimed
from the landfill. Blue jays creak
in the yard. Their harsh noises
sound far more fatal than plumbing,
but they aren’t serious enough
to follow up on their threats.
You’re tired of smutting curses
over every naked surface
and taking the shine off objects
that were new in our lifetimes.
You dislike the washer, dryer,
refrigerator, toaster, and range
but have tired of saying so.
Only the microwave oven
escapes your sultry expression.
But you hone your most poignant
silence to scrape the plumbing clean
of the foulest words. Maybe thus
unburdened, the faucet will heal
and we’ll save the plumber’s fee.
Then the water of the world,
pumped from our modest well,
will restrain itself from unholy
baptisms of the psychic void.
William Doreski’s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013).
Editor’s Note: Click on this poet’s name in the rectangle at the bottom of this post to see more of his Califragle work!