Remodeling the Bathroom

By Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love:

"If this were the last day of my life, I wouldn't complain about the shower curtain rod in the wrong place, even though it's drilled into the tiles. Nor would I fret over water marks on the apricot satin finish paint, half sick that I should have used semigloss. No. I'd stand in the doorway watching sun glint off the chrome faucet, breathing in the silicone smell. I'd wonder at the plumber, as he adjusted the hot and cold water knobs. I'd stare at the creases behind his ears and the gray flecks in his stubble. I'd have to hold myself back from touching him. Or maybe I wouldn't. Maybe I'd stroke his cheek and study his eyes the amber of cellos, his rumpled brow, the tiny garnet threads of capillaries, his lips resting together, quiet as old friends— I'd gaze at him as though his were the first face I'd ever seen."