I Don't Trust This

by Bill Caldwell

here I am in my underwear, bare
stomach on a massage-table, like a pale
sea creature floundering, part of me still
15, clumsy, ashamed of my attractions
and my lumpy body. Nor do I trust
tight t-shirt, rubbing oil onto
his hands, or the light-hearted music.
I exhale. He kneads my clenched shoulder,
my muscles, my tensions soften
to his touch, his hands the current of a sea.
I’m underwater with sea turtles,
their paddled feet in rhythm with his hands.
The hour over, driving home, I slip into
a CD of the Blues, some ache, some
rat-a-tat to get me home.

Bill Caldwell lives in Asheville with his husband. Before retiring, he worked as a nurse and marriage and family therapist. His poetry has been published in Artemis, Kakalack, and The Great Smokies Review and can be heard on KAXE radio.