The water in the dishpan has gone cold,
The lather of suds dissipated to a thin,
Iridescent sheen on the water’s surface.
She has rescued the forks and knives
From the depths of the murky bath
Like a diver on a recovery mission,
And scrubs each, one by one, with care.

Above her, a storm roils — drawers rolling
Like thunder on their runners, slamming —
His footfalls an angry deluge,
Before the eye of a hurricane.

One by one, she buffs dry the silverware,
Her precious flotsam, and overturns the pan,
Watches the mire eddying the drain in a languid vortex.

She senses, but doesn’t see him, behind her;
His presence the sharp crackle of ozone
After rain.

She waits for the stolid apologies
That follow his rages
Like the calm quiescence in the wake
Of a storm.

There is a moment of tense stillness
Before his shadow passes.
The front door groans on it’s hinges
And slams shut.

She watches him drive away.

The drain gurgles softly,
The last gasp of a drowning man
Lost at sea.