Bathtub Poetry

I write a lot of my poems from my bathtub floor

Soaking up sadness til the water gets cold

Til my silence grows old

Til my tears meet the water

And the stanzas are told


Sometimes I sit here so long that my toes become a topographic map of Nevada

And I swear to myself I will visit it someday

Then I notice the three tiny holes in the wall to the right of the shower head and wonder what the previous tenant had hung there.

Or if all good things come in threes, but then so do the bad ones.

And the men I’ve loved most of all remind me of the most beautiful words

How they glide out of my mouth and out the front door

And maybe that’s why I loved them

Because the most beautiful words are the hardest to hold onto.

And some men were words I could never quite pronounce

Stuck on the paper

Or a screen

Or at the edge of my finger tips

But never quite crossing my lips.

And my faucet has a drip that is so steady it has become a song

But the beat is slower than that of my heart

And I am resisting the urge to fix that.

Because bath tub’s are such a tenebrous temptation for me.

And it’s why I wouldn’t buy kitchen knives when I first lived on my own

So my ex used to laugh when he watched me cut onions

And would offer to buy me new knives, but I never did let him.

And I’d be lying if I said that was the only time he saw me cry.


And while I was writing this poem I refilled the tub with hot water three times because I was too afraid to face the empty side of my bed.

And as I pick at the spots where cigarettes left burn marks from the previous tenants,

I start to wonder why the paint in old bathtubs is always white

As if they wanted to be sure that the tub had the same rights as them

But I can’t help but notice each blemish

Or stain

Or streak of grime on the polished porcelain

And it reminds me of my own imperfections.

and how when you’re a triplet everyone feels the need to let you know about them.

As if every insecurity will help identify your corpse on their dichotomous key.

And the worst things come in threes, but so do the best and if you’re wondering which one I am, you’ll have to ask my mother.

But she is still sore from the weight she carried to raise us

And her fingers bloody from holding on for dear life

And her eyes are red because she’ll never cry enough tears to apologize for the world she brought us all in to.

But I am still sitting on my bath tub floor

Counting the hairs on my legs til I go mad

And trying my best to finish this poem before the sun comes up


But I write a lot of poems in this same spot

Holding my legs til the water gets hot

Sticking around even after it’s not

I have enough reasons to live

But that’s still not a lot

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