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On the toilet at 4 a.m.

I nurse my newborn son
and run the shower. His breath
knocks against the night air, nose

clogged by a cold. I watch
the water rush to the drain,
until a lush steam lingers. I lift

my boy, holding him inches
from the showerhead,
as close as I dare

to that bountiful, boisterous stream.
He inhales the thickened air
as the mirror before us melts. I wait.

This water is not mine.
I waste it, without hesitation.
I consume it, without a question.

I am not more
than my child, who
cannot turn the faucet

for himself.
I am not more
than our neighbor,

four blocks away,
who sleeps beside
the old school yard,

and taps on our door,
and offers to rake
our leaves

for a twenty.
I am worth
no more

than these.
Yet I loiter
with my child

in this bathroom
for an hour until his inhale
is easy and his exhale

is smooth and nobody asks
what I am doing, or how
I will account for this

mad rush of riches.
May this moment
become the meat

and the bone
in my throat
when I next

start complaining
in the desert
for bread.

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