Reading the sort-of love poem about
the couple that used to like showering together
but the guy now found it a nuisance
and enumerated his gripes
reminded me of the times
I convinced you that you needed me
to slide into the shower
and do your back, etc.–
especially the etc.–
when you were recovering
and needed my help
with many things that called for
strength or balance.

You remembered that some things
got really well soaped.
I agreed, smiling at the memories
of the soap and remembering too
my leftover worries from your days
in the hospital, my anxiety
at how long it was taking
to get a little meat back on your bones,
a little spring back in your step,
a little music back in your voice.

That was long ago
but it seems to me
that if we can remember
that soap, that warm water,
that closeness,
it might not be such a bad idea
to recreate the scene
now that the meat, the spring, the music,
and some nice-smelling soap
are in good supply.