Weekly feature by: Beau Williams

I slide the brass lock shut in the bathroom.
Turn the music to loud; the shower to scald.
For the first time in the seven years
I’ve owned these pajama bottoms,
I notice that they have a tag embroidered in the
waistband that reads “Protest”.
That company is either radical,
witty, or
shut down.

As I step into the shower I
imagine myself a world renown martyr or
a punk rock activist.
Crack ginger ales with Ian McKaye over a guitar
with a Bush/Cheney sticker
all aflame.
We laugh as the edges curl;
the strings explode.

There is a window in the shower that faces
all of South Portland
and a giant oak tree.
She cries all the colors of fall then
bleeds them across the lawn.
A crow stands nearly drowned in the
flood of leaves.
Stares up at me,
head cocked as if I interest him.
Later I will realize how
conceited a thought that was.

He will fly away before
this thought is through.
Before lethargy clogs the drain
with me.
Before the water dries the oil from my skin.
Before I remember where I am.
The bird streaks across my window
the way salacious graffiti smears the public
bathrooms downtown.

I decide not to think of beautiful things today:
the woman on the other side of the door,
the bruising autumn tree.
I think of thinking nothing

as the tub fills with water;
as the steam starts to burn

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