If you have to replace a white tub
replace the white toilet at the same time,
because no two whites are the same:
Mama-advice on the eve of my wedding,
that was it; no something borrowed,
something blue. I wore the neighborhood
white wedding gown. By the time I got it
there were yellow stains under the armpits, multiple
trips to the dry cleaner couldn’t take away
the scent of fear. Marital score card: Geri wore it first—
the swell in her belly left a permanent stiff bulge in the crinoline,
Laurie’s spiked shoes ripped the delicate hem. She wanted
to flee even before she said I do,
took a military plane back from Guam
leaving Tom to fight alone. My sister
was the lucky one, a trapped bird,
she said she never wanted
to open her cage.
My mother blamed the egg yolk breakfast stains
on my father’s white business shirts
for the lack of his promotions.
The different colored whites in the bathroom—
Dad too cheap to make it right, made Mom crazy
as she douched Dad out in the off-white tub.
The bathroom in my first apartment as man
and wife had a rose-colored toilet and tub.
I thought of forty years as a sentence,
something I could do. Envisioned myself smeared
with red lipstick, pancake tits flapping
in a mumu buying pork rinds at 7-Eleven.
My husband sprung me early by dying,
like Elvis, on his girlfriend’s
glaring white commode.
VICKI IORIO is the author of the poetry collections Poems from the Dirty Couch, Local Gems Press, Not Sorry, Alien Buddha Press and the chapbooks Send Me a Letter, dancinggirlpress and Something Fishy, Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous print and on-line journals including The Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, poets respond on line, The Fem Lit Magazine, and The American Journal of Poetry. Vicki is currently living in Florida but her heart is in New York.