Paul Hostovsky

When you’re in pain
you take
pleasure in nothing
but pain’s
diminishment,
if pleasure
you can call it,
testing
the thinness of it,
disbelieving,
distrusting,
tiptoeing
down into the kitchen
where a few dirty dishes
that aren’t yours
wait in the sink,
and you begin
washing them
slowly,
thoroughly,
gratefully,
the warm
water on your wrists,
the sweet-
smelling soap, the clean
dishes stacking
in the dish rack,
dripping,
glistening,
solid.