An Evening Bath – Kristiana Reed

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She’s been sinking for days,

the ground a swallowing mud

she’s lost all of her shoes in.

On Monday she was waist deep in regret,

now it’s Sunday and the shame

is creeping up around her throat,

flecks of distance, good enough

and you should have known better.

In her need to be clean she draws a bath

perched on the toilet seat waiting,

nothing but time –

counting cracks in the ceiling,

tired of the solitary company she keeps.

 

Her filthy feet, cut and dried blood,

enter the water first,

followed by a gripped waist,

ribcage cracked with sobs

and finally her face.

Bath water gathers at her edges,

bubbles shrink pricked with oxygen

she struggles to exhale.

The tiles ask her for all the names

she was called today,

the taps drip condolences

in the gaps between her toes

and the porcelain sides swaddle her

as her mother’s womb once did.

A smile slowly ripples across her face

as she is scalded;

her goosebump flesh prickling to red.

 

She could drown in steam and bubbles

for hours;

a hippo in a river,

a pig in mud,

a survivor and a giver

rubbing her scars

with dirty bubbles and salts.

 

By the time she makes her exit

her skin is puckered like dying grapes

and there may still be words

behind her ears,

decisions still clinging

to the roots of her hair.

But she feels cleaner,

braver, in spite

of the bruises and grazes

water cannot wash away.


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

16 thoughts on “An Evening Bath – Kristiana Reed

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