Tuesday, November 12, 2013

12 November 2013

Renée Stout

Dear toothpaste tube,

Almost empty when I found you in the canister of tubes
I packed you anyway — 1.5 ounce, cap tight — in a quart-sized ziploc bag.

Your lucky day, the official said, you may wear your shoes.

I've eked you out for nine days in four locations,
rolled & squeezed you
against caries, against disorder.

In the event it was lip balm I missed, also Detroit & Patagonia.

Be grateful I never pressed you for advice.
Why shouldn't we travel? Why won't we make ourselves at home?

As a fabric mixed & flattened to Colgate's recipe
did you rue the cuts, crimps, & folds?
the measured stream of turquoise abrasive?

One friend has forsworn toothpaste, another shampoo,
so might I do with more of nothing.

Your dead-end mouth mocks the trash can's hole.
My bristles, my brush, dry.

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