Building a new washroom

November 10, 2021

for Padmaja Pullagura

There’s Holy Communion tonight, so
my mother washes her body since she
should her soul’s there she goes, but

as per vastu our washroom was built
outside, stained today with our dirt,
slippery with grime, and cobwebbed

corners, stinks of dead lizards, off the
ant-line crevices, she reminds me again
and again that a new one inside outs the

vulnerable old one, where the foul beings
shared our days slithering inside, coiling
around those rusting faucets of our privacy

we will have inside from tomorrow in the 
new one for more ablutions to cleanse the
aging dirt of our debilitating ailments.