Papal Resignations

I'm draining myself in a way
less scandalous than five minutes prior
into one of those faulty toilets
that requires you to hold its lever down
for the duration of the dismissal.
It's mounted so crookedly
one corner of the tank a solid inch
further from the wall than the other
that I almost pity its owner.
She's fifteen years my senior
and has dealt with far worse
than skewed plumbing fixtures
with weak flushes.
If I had any intention of returning
to this place I'd bring my tools along
but that won't be happening.
We haven't exchanged numbers
after meeting last night
and there's a silent thieves' agreement
that none of that will change.
Her bedroom's down the hallway.
She's in it, feigning sleep.

I wash my hands symbolically
and chalk it up to hygiene.
There are gadgets on the vanity
with purposes beyond my comprehension.
A white contraption with hoses and dials
and a tube of some sort, all centered around
a reservoir of blue liquid. With a gun to my head
I'd guess it somehow cleans teeth, though
how blue can yield white is beyond me.
Next to it there's a smaller device
with less frills and specifics.
It's plugged into an outlet
blinking to verify it's alive.
There's a handle, a head, and
what seems to be some rotary component.
I flick water from my hands into the sink
since I'd rather not touch any towels
swearing to myself that I'd make a terrible woman
the opposite also being true.
I've made some women terrible.

There's a photo on the wall;
one of those themed numbers
they take at amusement parks
with people dressed as cowboys
or Prohibition gangsters.
This one has the Western motif.
She stands, dressed as a harlot
behind her two teenaged children
the boy bracing a rifle over his shoulder
while his left hand fingers a holstered revolver.
If he was here he'd shoot me
but her offspring are down south
for the summer with their father.
She'd advertised that at the bar
where we met. I called her out on it
but dropped a line of my own.
"I'm not leaving here without you."
I didn't.
She acknowledged my acting prowess
in the darkness of 4 a.m.

I close the bathroom door behind me
making sure not to trap any cats inside.
The floorboards creak menacingly
as I navigate this gin-soaked vessel
back to its latest port
and fall asleep dreaming
of a life spent in one harbor.

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