When I discover my shoe
under her pillow and my credit cards
floating in the tub, I kiss her
for finding them.
Vile animal, she calls me
for taking her clothes
and washing them. I confess.
She changes my name: Peter to
Joe to Elizabeth. Yes, I answer.
We agree the neurologist stole
her driver’s license when she wasn’t looking
and that 2 a.m. is a yummy time
to split a tuna fish and ketchup sandwich.
When she soils herself and asks
if she smells, I take a big whiff, say, No.
She leans her bony hands on my hips
and I turn for her to sniff
where only mothers are allowed to.
I wait to hear her say, So fresh, Ben.
Like flowers, Leo. I wait for her
to call me Michael. And I will turn
and we will see each other again.