His hands are still cased
in a thin and cracking film of dried clay.
He straddles behind me and plunges his hands
into the warm bubbles, pushing aside
dishes. Squeezes my own hands.
His breath hot and wet on my nape.
the first plunge of the hands in cold, clean water
before the skin is stained by the supple clay,
dirty and wet, like the skirts of an Indian river.
His wet hands now on my hips,
and I feel like I’m spinning
because I know
that tomorrow he’ll snatch his dried piece of clay,
scrutinize it with his stone-flecked eyes and,
finding it imperfect,
smash it against the wall.