I miss my porcelain tub with the claw feet that stood on the black and white checkered floor. That bathroom was a glorified closet and the toilet required courtesy flushes for its century-old system, but every tub I’ve sunk my sore body into since then doesn’t sound the same when I pull my head and ears under the surface of the water. I’m sure I’m imagining it; the same bones beneath my skin creak and crack, my gut gurgles, my heart lubs and dubs against breath sounds in this standard shower tub the same way it did back then. I still have my bag of Epsom salts, my single candle, my drain plug, my glass of red wine in the same red poppy glass. I still find myself writing lazy poetry and prose here, stripped down and sleepy, thinking about shapes and languages and people and lines and lyrics and conspiracies and plans and repeating words stuck in my head until I can make them fit into a sentence.
There are some days I’d give anything to go back, even if just for a moment, to that time when I had that porcelain bath tub, in that little quarter apartment of a house with the big trees that changed color in the fall and bloomed in the springtime lining that old street; where I’d walk along those 1900s hardwood floors with the one nail that always worked its way up that I’d hammer down before company came so they wouldn’t need a tetanus shot; where I painted cupboards with chalkboard paint, wrote notes for my masters thesis, and washed my square white dishes; where I’d cook drunken breakfast feasts for my friends after long nights riding bicycles downtown; where I brought my sweet black kitten with manic eyes to his very first forever home; where I took in friends needing a place to stay for awhile, my big purple couch was theirs; where I wrote out my “plan” and decided with the wisdom of a 22-year old what 30 would look like. It’s where I decided to follow my heart and lips and diverge from what should be to what could be.
It’s so tender there, those memories. They brim salty and warm, and I pull my arms closer to me. The water laps, the heat and steam rises, and I melt.
Written in a warm tub. January 30 2019