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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

In the Shower

Depression doesn't always "look" like depression.


In the Shower

My wrist mimics the motion of the rounded
metal valve as I spin it all the way to the left.
I let the water scald me,
but the heat and pressure always fall short.
I just want to feel something.
I step out into the opaque cover of steam.
It hides me from myself. The mirror
is blanketed in fog, the way I like it. Reflection is
too much to handle. I reach for the towel, the ratty
one that's always waiting for me—a mere 
arm's length awayand cloak myself in the familiar
synthetic fibers. I wrap and tuck my body
like an origami swan, hiding the ugly
duckling beneath. My mind lingers on those places
where the fabric brushes against
bumps and curves, those corporeal protrusions
I fight so hard to ignore. I drop the towel,
vacating my shell of safety like a hermit crab,
cringe at the momentary exposure,
and reach for the baggy clothing carelessly
tossed next to the sink, as I have a thousand times.
I move with the muscle memory of one who's mastered
the art of not seeing herself clearly.

I dress in near silence, nothing
but the sound of residual water dripping
from the showerhead. And for a fleeting moment,
I think perhaps I do feel something
envy, clear as those final droplets as they escape
down the drain.

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