Litany Domestica

Yes, I agree it’s unhealthy to take very long baths

and succumb like water to more water. And at the same time,

I feel nothing sustains us more than your relief

when I haven’t taken submersion too far, made aftermath

of my body. My concern is wanting the wrong idea of me—

even the counselor who lost her hand after cutting her wrist

told us touch is the last thing to amend its lack.

I would like to speak this into truth. Yes, I agree it’s stupid talking this


and the lulls will probably end with us looking for our clothes,

shivering in the point we just made. And at the same time,

our bed swells with murmurs like the steps before a pulpit.

When you’re honest with yourself, am I the type to emerge

from a dark room or be overtaken by it? I would like to speak this into


my mother fled and filled a tiny house with other children’s fathers   

who couldn’t have taught me how to husband anything

and I feel hurt her life was so lovely and complete in the end.

My concern is I’m drinking my way into laughing about this—

like my father, I watch my son hit a bottle senseless with a rattle

and call it patrimony. Yes, I agree happiness is more than chemical.

And at the same time, Bonnard lied to his wife for years

so he could keep painting nudes of her in the bath.

When you can’t admit you’re sick of us, try saying, I do, I do,

sweeting is part such sorrow. Yes, I agree we remain because

leaving would be worse. And at the same time, going nowhere

feels enough like a vow. My concern is what exists around this basin

more than the body within—there are mesquite flowers falling

through the jalousie window and the floor is stained with their leaking.

I feel hurt as all the damaged light I’ve left trapped in the water.

Yes, I agree to run the tap every few minutes, hum a nothing tune.

And at the same time, promise when you crack the door, you’ll find me.



Samuel Piccone is the author of the chapbook Pupa (Anhinga Press, 2018). His work has appeared in publications including, Sycamore Review, Passages North, Denver Quarterly, and The Pinch. He received an MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University and serves on the poetry staff at Raleigh Review. Currently, he resides and teaches in Nevada.