Smudged

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I always cry in the shower. I turn on the water, and sit on the floor of the tub, tucking in my knees; making sure I can’t touch anything else. That’s when I feel the most solitude; when all I can sense is myself.

I make the water too hot, so my skin gets red and splotchy, and I have to run my hands up and down my shins to keep from feeling burned. Sometimes I don’t care.

All I see is the cloud of steam billowing beneath the stream, and the slight flicker of several candles I lit before getting in; I like the slanting dimness through the shower curtain.

I zone out, staring at my pale, unshaven knees, or the layered and chipped nail polish on my fat little fingers. I don’t really think my fingers are fat, but they aren’t as long as my mother’s, whose dance like the porcelain legs of a small statuette when she speaks. 

I think about nothing in particular. And instead of simply thinking about nothing in particular, at some point I am called to lean my head down to the only bony part of my legs, and sob until I feel I have let out the emotion that has come in. I feel I know exactly why, but I don’t feel much. Solely does feeling occur.

I roll over, then get out, the air in the bathroom so humid I’m not cold without my towel.

The mirror is clouded, so I can only see the figure that I am. It’s smudged, and I wish I could always look smudged, so I could never be deciphered.

I stare until the water on my shoulders rolls down to drip from my palms, and my feet are the only things that are hot. In my mind, I tell myself I’m done crying.

But then you come at me again.






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