Today I used a piece of toilet paper
(ingenious how the squares are perforated)
as a bookmark,
to mark the beginning
of a story in a journal
I pretended to mean to read soon.
My own pretensions in the bathroom, I’d guess,
are no more elaborate than those of any other,
but we prefer not to confess them,
which is why confessionals nowadays tend to be
outfitted with porcelain & brass conveniences, & vanities
of granite stacked with prayers, or leastways
paperbacks (suggestive of prayerful reflection,
a well-regarded, liturgical means of bargaining one’s way out
of bondage to repugnant functions),
all to function as a colossal ruse—for truly,
we know no sleight-of-hand swipe performed (however
adroitly the unrolled squares are wadded
or folded), nor our most adroit illusions of luxury
contrived of bodacious poses over prodigal devices,
can justify such unnatural exertions.
Nature’s call is much like that of the cleric’s behind
his proverbial curtain—indeed, a loaded business
we can’t but answer.
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
Who, me? Employ a fallacy of equivocation? NE-VER!