In all that silence, you could have
laughed—there, wrapped in a white
towel, unadorned and carrying
only what cells mom and dad gave
by chance long long ago.
cry as you looked down the pale
corridor, always it’s pale for these
solitary walks. Next minute big
feet noiseless into tepid water embracing
parts that had known either burn
or freeze, holding them like goose feather
blankets or somebody else’s mother
who loves you too.
One more dip, a small
pink thing again turns in rain
water towards the breath of the white
tiles surrounding, one more
prayer and unbounded hair spreads
wide to drink.
Quenched, rising, feet
fully massaged at every contact, you
gaped at the unexpected woman
there with you in the room’s glass—
she resembled the brightly threaded wall
hanging that you were scared to look
at in youth in grandma’s bathroom, a nude
heavy breasted woman with uncut auburn
pubic hair and refrigerator hips, her likeness—
In all that fullness of
connection, there was nothing there
that wasn’t loved, nothing lacking
that was missed, and nothing more
precious than the soft water, the smooth
tiles, or you. Whatever else reality
mirrored back into your scared green
eyes never provided the unexpected
rapture of what was actually there.
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