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Ode to the Stain in the Bathroom Carpet

Famke Halma

The bathroom sink on the second floor

is my favorite place in this house because

it drips and churns and then just


And everything suddenly stops.

The carpet is stained a wine red.

I think it’s funny because sometimes I

lie on this dirty floor and roll myself

in the dampness of an old bath and

it smells awful but

the carpet is stained wine red

even though we never bring food or drinks up here.

Isn’t that fascinating?

The stain never gets any pinker.

No matter how many times I

shuffle over it with wet feet after

I’ve washed my skin with the peach-scented body scrub

he got me for my birthday.

It smells so good.

The stain never moves.

No matter how often I’ve held a sponge over it and

sacrificed buckets filled with Clorox concoctions to it,

it simply won’t budge.

The stain clearly has its mind made up.

We decided that it was best to simply put

another rug over it.

When I go to lie down on the bathroom carpet I

sometimes lift the rug to make sure that the stain is still there.

I don’t want it to leave me.

And perhaps I spend hours lying on this floor

with my hair fanned out

because I mourn that wine stain

and the way it’s shaped,

kind of like a rainbow,

turned up at the edges.

How could I not think that it’s pretty?

It has my smile.

He calls for me while I lie on this stained carpet,

the rug lifted.

“Hey, Love.”

The name my father used to call me.

“The oven.”

Jesus turned water into wine, and I’ve

never known another man who could do the same.

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