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I turn the faucet and reveal purple and red, spreading across my skin like ink across paper, wishing it could turn to green and expand out in thin lines. Green ­ivy forcing itself from my body through the cracks on these porcelain tiles. Banal patience creeping along, embracing the white and the grime and creating beauty. Its strength of finding all the weaknesses of a façade and supporting it being displayed. I want to be able to do this. Or maybe just turn my purple and red to browns, so I can blend in with the woods I spoke of months ago. I hold a moment of silence for one more thing I hoped would last before continuing on to that cabin I shouldn’t have opened yet. Intrusive eager selfishness.

These artificial scents should really be the forest’s natural perfumes mixing in with the suds and bath water that should be sea foam and the salty ocean water, licking away the wounds on my skin. But then I remember it is nothing but chemically treated water that is going nowhere because there is too much stuff stuck in the drain. But I can hear the waves crashing and my sister’s laugh from that summer and Holocene and for a moment I am home.

But then the water rises up over the crests of my feet, lapping against my ankles and I feel like I am drowning. Breath has gone south for the winter, flying in V formations over my head, sounds fading across the sky that’s turning red like my skin.

Numb. Imagining the water turning cold, freezing my body and slowing my blood flow enough for me to accept that happiness is elusive and is not with you if you have to ask. But anger is. Anger that dwells deep inside you and you don’t even know it’s there. You forget about it. Numbness continues and the anger grows stronger in the darkness. It emerges full-grown but immature and uncontrolled. It explodes and there’s a sound of a fist and a heart and someone’s mind slamming into the floorboards, echoing through ear canals and absorbing memories. Closure is merging with every organ’s cells.

There is nothing but raindrops crashing into the bathtub’s shallow pond. Muscles and bones are in a stalemate and I feel every drop kissing me, running down my spine as I imagine myself as a flower that could grow.

Hope is for the…

Suds floating, nausea, everything merging and morphing into scenes I cant turn off in my head so they seep out of my pores and are absorbed into the steamy air, becoming ghosts that dance against the curtain. The haunting makes me give in and contribute to the body of water at my feet. Eyes that are so tired but cannot seem to sleep. Pupils that won’t stop submerging. Fists that won’t stop throbbing. Head that won’t stop spinning. Knees that won’t stop shaking…

A heart that won’t stop beating.

Yes. I won’t stop feeling. Me feeling you feeling me feeling numb. Feeling closure feeling anger feeling done. Feeling your pain from feeling my pain feeling bad timing. Watching glass orbs shatter again but this time they were hanging from a funeral parlor’s ceiling, smelling like a desperate preservation of anything I can save because what’s inside the caskets is all my eyes see when I see him.

I realize all I managed to save were jam-filled mason jars whose contents grew bitter and whose outsides collected dust in the closet while sweet dreams kept going sour.

And all I want is to be sweet. I want to be savory. I want to be well. So I finally put a stop to the rising waters. I am waiting for it to drain out, knowing I can’t ask you to do the same. And I feel the door. It is pushing my arm. I let it. You let it.

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