Is this where they’ll find me? In the tub, laying back, my neck resting on the edge, my face covered with a book?
Is they where they’ll find me? Seemingly asleep, one hand holding tight the book that covers my face, hiding the cheap reading glasses that have slipped a little, eyes closed, the mouth slightly open? The other hand, dangling over the edge?
Will they find me in a tub of cold water, a cold cup of coffee on the edge beside a large bottle of bubble bath with its $2.99 sales sticker, the tap drip dripping that one drop every twenty seconds.
Will they find the parrot, seemingly asleep, but oh so still, eyes closed, head resting against my fingertips that hangs over the ledge, his claws clutching tight the edge of the laundry basket that has been placed next to the tub?
Will they stand, gloved hands on hips, furrowed brows, scanning the small bathroom, the dollar store shower curtain, the child’s plastic tea set strewn on the floor under the parrot, the PineSol in the toilet, three rolls of toilet paper at various sizes, the quiet stillness of the body in the bath, the silent little bird on the ledge, the dripping tap.
Is she dead?
Looks like it.
Call it in.
The curious, mindful, insightful one will pry the book from her stiff fingers. And he’ll see the indent from her nose, and read out loud…
At last I’m with you again.
And he replied:
“Keep a good hold round my neck, my flower.”
“Yes,” she whispered. “Always– as long as I live. Your one flower. The flower of your life. And I shan’t die awhile yet; no, not for a long while yet.”
Then they went on their way. *
Is this where they’ll find me? In the tub, laying back, my neck resting on the edge, my nose literally buried a book? Content to die from the artistry of words. Breathless.