The bath slips onto her like a robe

as she struggles against the hot water.

Welts rise against her skin

punishment for a life lived too well.

She's going to pretend

everything's okay.

It's fine,

but what is fine?

She trips onto her subconscious in the dark little space

just her, the tub, the candles,

and some soft light.

There, in the corner

she sees

her life pass her by.

It's quick and unkind.

She's a chaotic mess.

But it's of the best kind.

As a child,

they called her quiet

called her shy

called her anything but what she was.

She'd pull the covers

over her head for miles

breathe in the deep sky of whiskey

and pray that she'd be quiet enough tonight.

He'd prey on her,

push her toward the core

of who she could never be.

But she was quiet


everything but what she wanted to be.

As she grew,

the loneliness ate at her.

Like a barren desert,

it consumed her and pulled her towards the darkness.

She faked the happiness,

played the naive girl,

and she was the best actress in school.

With more class than Jackie O

she held her head up high.

Mom said,

"Don't let them see you put your head down,"

so she bought her time with

pretty dollars

made of tears and fears.


she's distorted.

Picked apart by the sloppy fingers

of a second grade kid who can't pay attention.

The emptiness is still in her,

but it's growing now

she's confused.

She rests her head

against the cool tile

of the tub

prays that she's being watched by some higher power.

The light of the candles flickers against her face

burning her cheeks and her nose in the shadows.

Her toes peek from out of the water

grazing the edge of the tub.

She lets the hot water steam away her worries,

the pain that she's hiding.

And it works,

it's the best punishment of all.

A total cleanser.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Water will wash away my sins....

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