The Ravages of an Unloved Life

I call this moment here comes the glow. Like the relationship between the time of an act and its outcome, my skin takes on the burning, knowing it has to bear for only a short while until relief comes flooding. I never worry about the hot water scalding my body. For a bathroom filled with steam, I’ll pay anything. When I slide the curtain over to the side, I take a moment before lifting my head, and every time, I’m successful in blotting out my image in the mirror. I’m like a child playing hide-and-seek. I grab a towel off the rack and wipe myself dry, the whole time making sure the mist is there, framed in the square corners of the mirror and acting as the perfect veil, keeping me from having to look at myself. There are days I see the blurry image—a figure moving swiftly, a thick arm reaching over, my underbelly poking out and without shame. Stooped shoulders. Trunks of thighs planted on cold vintage tiles. The breasts, smooth slopes that round sharply underneath and sit unmoving.

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