Valentin, can you

take your hands off your ears

and see how the nice ladies are making you

a swimming pool?

Tired caretaker. Her charge hums

and stands on his toes, which we figure

means he is afraid of water —

but still she strips him

down to his makeshift diaper and

taut kid belly, a miniscule pink penis

caught between two layers of gauze.

He hops back and forth with his legs apart

while we wrestle with the hose.

When the water finally comes

we feel cruel for having made him wait, so we

kneel and let him spray us too. For twenty minutes

he screams and screams and drenches our heads, even Madame’s —

Valentin, can you

thank the nice ladies?

He covers his ears

again and starts to hum.