Lost It

By Traci O’Dea

Il suffit que je sois bien Malheureuse pour avoir Droit a votre bien-vaillance
			-from J.L. David. Marat Assassiné. 1793.

His left hand hangs, not unlike Marat’s right hand, outside the tub.
The wedding band slips off and rings
against the hardwood, pauses, then rolls away
beyond the brass clawed feet. To no avail, he gropes
the boards. His fingers 
turn up with only dust
and specks of plumbing rust.
His spent arm lingers
against the cast iron side. He pulls the plug and hopes
she won’t react like she’s Charlotte Corday,
and thinks there are some little things
she doesn’t need to know. He rises, employs a dirty towel to rub

away the ring he left, kneels on the area rug, bows cheek to floor
to investigate. No band. A slide
of hand between copper pipes. He avoids
the corners ‘til he grabs the flashlight. Still no luck there,
just what normally
dwells in corners: bug shells,
towel lint, shed skin cells.
He’s not formally 
panicking yet. It must be under here, but where?
There exist a finite number of voids
beneath the tub where it could hide.
As soon as he accepts it’s disappeared, he hears her slam the door.

In desperation, he unscrews the faucet’s stainless aerator ring.
No dice. It doesn’t fit. He’ll try
to keep his hands from sight. Later that night
they dine. She catches on. They fight. It reaches the point
of “Maybe you meant
to lose it.” 
	     “Maybe I did.”
She grips the Corning lid
with clear intent
and aims it at his neck. It misses, hits a knuckle joint
on his left hand. Pissed, she grabs, with her right
hand, a steak knife. This time, bull’s-eye. 
The wedding band rests beside the toilet, unaware of anything.

This piece is from The Feminist Toilet #2. To return to the table of contents, click here.

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