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Tub

January 31, 2011

my hair kisses the curtain slime, the water
purrs yellow
there’s a ringing trapped in this bathroom
the buzzing squeezes me smaller and smaller
until I’m on my back, helpless, in a white porcelain
box. It’s trying to drown me, trying to
put me to sleep.

My tangle-shaped legs find refuge
on a mat, navy, furry,
my wet hangs like a tree. Waves weaken against
the tile walls and cliff over the tub’s lip.
I hide in a towel and sit
on the toilet as my hair mops away my shoulders.
I press myself as far from it as possible – the clawing
and gurgling, the final dark
slurp – and then, smile,
a ring of dirt, a long faint artifact
crayoned by me.

I blacken the wicks with a blow
good-night. My feet welcome the cold floor.
Another tactic
smashed against the wall: I’m still wide awake.
I drop my head
to the bottom of my pillow, surrender
to the ceiling light – a housefly’s graveyard – and
breath away all sleep.

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