Leslie McGrath


After a bath,
teeth chattering,
I’d cup my hands
over my sex
while Mother rummaged
in the closet. Turning,
the white towel
between her arms,
she’d wrap me
in rough wings,
spread a palmful
of lotion
over me like icing.
Now that slow lave’s
for my infant daughter—
I run my thumbs up
her soles, over
her buttocks, around
her birdlike scapulae
She pinkens like dawn.



"Touch" first appeared in Caduceus, fall, 2004.