*this poem is dedicated to a dear friend of mine.
“Lina is a liar, who cannot bear her real face in the mirror” – Anais Nin
She washes her hands continually,
Roll after roll
Of toilet paper, denying
Using them to sop up her worries
As if soap could scrub off shame
& water rinse away blame.
I knock, knock
Ask what’s she’s doing, she
Opens the door as if escaping a fire
When really the bathroom is an ocean
& we are set adrift on the tides
of our own flushing.
I hope she is not purging,
I’m urging for breath
As if wind could fuel a flame
Over everything she is
Constantly trying to douse out.
One year later
She can light the stove
– without –
She opens the bathroom door
& I emerge from the room of my own shame,
step into the fountain of compassion
& embrace her.
Adrienne Adams March 10th 2016