After L. L. FitzGerald’s Nude Woman Reading,

                          dry point on wove paper, c. 1926-29


The intermittent creaking of the chair, 

the steady drip, drip, drip of the bath tub 

faucet, she combs and coils up her damp hair,

crosses and tucks her legs upon the rung.


The air’s soft and moist with the scent of soap.

Most of the pages to her book are limp

to the touch, including the envelope

she has used to mark her place. She has skimmed


the parts that she has read before and leans  

against the towel-draped chair to read about

the lovers and their faithful go-betweens,

their kissed encounters, sumptuous dinners out.


And sighing, she slumps further in her seat,

succumbing to both lassitude and  heat.

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