Baptismal

Originally published in Horn & Ivory Zine

i will forget you in the shower. 
             water (instead) will fill me.
i open my mouth and it tastes like iron, like
metal, like
blood
                             and that is fine with me. i'm used to it. 

i stuff the rag down the
drain because we've lost the plug for the bath
and let it slowly fill up. i unhook my bones and begin to
hollow them out. without you seeping red into the
marrow,
             they'll float. 
             with shiny new children's toys bobbing between organs,
             and metacarpals, collisions in slow motion, 
             i am
                             mesmerized. 

see: i used to rip apart my barbies and throw
them against the wall because i could not
mold them into what i wanted them to be. 

                              and i fear that my teeth
are remembering. and i've bitten the insides of my
cheeks raw. (there's that blood again. but, again, i'm used to it.)
                              the water will wash my mouth out,
wash me clean. wash me pure. 

             it doesn't snow here. so—
if i can, i want to be pure in the way of flowers. 
                             i want to be bloodless & watersoaked. 

i will rinse you out of me. vinegar does
the trick usually. five to ten minutes of soaking.
                             wash immediately.
i spit you out of my mouth, because i think
             i am beginning to confuse you with the
taste of blood now. 
             and see: i'm used to it. and i shouldn't be. 

pull the rag out of the drain, the water guzzles and foams
and there is a ring left behind that has the smell of your hair,
fragments of old conversations, that time you said you could
love me forever,
and blood. (but that's mine.)

i put myself back together. i've used up most of the
hot water and the tub will begin to flood the bathroom.
i reassemble my flesh to muscles to organs to bones
             and everything is waterlogged. overtime, i will become
dark with water stains but —

                             for now, when i breathe, it will
                             just be air whistling through these bones
and not the sound of your name. there is no blood.

                             if i can be washed clean—remade. 
                             instead of teeth and sinew,
                             please—give me to the lotus.
                             pure. 

                             let me be bloodless & watersoaked.