The nights I wash my face are the good nights
when I feel pure and virtuous and calm
the children both in bed, the dishes draining
no sleeping on the couch, the teevee blaring
after an endless binge-watch marathon.
Even if I've downed a glass or two of pinot
or snuck a half-pint of Haagen-Dazs
the cleansing ritual somehow unstains me
enough like saying prayers in bed, the call
of pillows, flannel sheets and layered blankets
the lure of dreams that could bring some relief
or close encounters with my movie idol--
it's all fair game before the old alarm
wakes me, alone again, yet clean at least.
April 6, 2016