Gains & Losses
The Accountant Gets Dressed

Every morning in the mirror, there
is this: white spread of shirt, blue tie in
a perfect C.  Above the line of lip,
it gets harder to leverage the edge
of razor against the burn rate of skin.
Dark hairs and worries accumulate where
they are not willed.  The fixture of the sink
lends itself to self-balance, but exhales
get lost in the narrative of shower
steam and fan whine.  From the column of mist,
his wife’s body emerges, white as chalk dust.
Her heavy breasts borrow the mirror,
balance the deficit of his face.  He wants
to reach through his tie to the glass,
be absorbed by her bottom line before
she covers it with a towel, find this
undeclared asset he no longer retains.
He credits her with everything:
steamy room, tightening knot of his throat,
dark hatches of hair against the white tile.
Behind and in front of him, infinite hers
turn over and over, skin and towel
invested.  Work calls to him, its numbers
in small rows, plusses and minuses
He runs the water to wash away
the dark.  His face fills with liabilities.
He cannot come out ahead.

Copyright 2009,  Shanna Germain

Shanna Germain's award-winning work has appeared in places like Absinthe Literary ReviewThe American Journal of NursingBest American Erotica,   EclecticaJukedSalon and Tipton Poetry Review. Visit her online at

<< Previous      Contents      Next   >>