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November 27, 2023

The Last Good Thing

By Tony Gloeggler

The Last Good Thing

It was the Sunday
my father felt strong
enough to get out
of bed, take baby steps
to the bathroom. He fumbled
with buttons, tugged the top
over his head, unsnapped
his bottoms and let them
slide down his legs. Crouched

like a catcher, I untangled
his pajamas, removed
his slippers as he sat
down to piss. I ran
the bathwater, tested it,
turned on the shower.
He grabbed my arm, leaned
on the sink and lifted
himself to his feet, stepped
into the tub. The water
hit his neck, rolled
off his shoulders. I watched
his eyes shut, lips
part and whisper sighs

soft as first kisses brushed
on park benches. I lathered
up the sponge, scrubbed
his back. When water
splashed my glasses, soaked
my clothes, I stripped
down to boxers, stepped
in with him and walked
all the way to Brooklyn:

My father crosses Stockholm Street
carrying his tools. He straddles
the Johnny Pump, pulls,
bangs and yanks until
water explodes, roars out
of the hydrant's mouth
and the block of kids cheer
like he's some God
sending down rain. Afraid
of slipping, he turned
slowly, gripping my shoulders.
I took my time, soaped
under his arms, between

his legs. When I stood,
he pulled me close, tightened
his arms around me, kissed
my neck. I tried not to cry
when he said he could stay
like this forever, stay
until he died, until
the hot water got cold.

First published in The Ledge

Article © Tony Gloeggler. All rights reserved.
Published on 2018-10-29
Image(s) are public domain.
1 Reader Comments
07:33:01 AM
The glass, being full. Thank you.
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