A Bar of Soap, Streaked Blue and White

When I was a child, I once worried
a hole through the center of
a bar of Coast deodorant soap —
the family bar that we all shared
in the blue upstairs bathroom of
our house in Thief River Falls (in
family lore, “the Thief River house”).
I don’t know what I was thinking,
how it is I believed that no one
would see, or would not immediately
know that this was not an accident,
just something that happened in
an old house, a blue bathroom, a
blue tub — to a bar of soap,
streaked blue and white, with
that smell that drove me on,
with my fingernail, because
I couldn’t eat it and had to
consume it in some other way.

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