Bathtub, for Cindy Gladue ➕

Shake off the water that beads into pear-shaped drops

That is not hot enough to shatter the glass that is my drinking

That is a painted blue bowl upturned over my heart and the smell

Of falling so quickly you lose your faculties: 

I am pleating the poly bedspread with damp fingers

And saying, No, I don’t mean it that way! 

As his eyes take on this cast, the piss-glaze on my first ceramic plate 

And he carries me like a bride and dials the water on,

The water I am shaking off that flies and catches the bright metal 

Of the knife, where is it from?

We had eaten the cherries he snagged from the 7-11, sweet

And sticky, red-mouthed kisses at first then he scared me,

By doing nothing at all.

I saw the locked door, the size of his hands, I saw every man who

Has ever knocked me down — and me, running so fast, my hair smacks my face

Leaving a mark, Look what you did!

You made me—

The rest hurt too much to remember, I remember erasing everything but

Telling myself to watch the shock of the red wash, its scarlet brilliants

Coursing against the ice-white enamel, coursing from me:

I am being born I am handed to trembling arms and a smile that

Wavers, does she know. 

“Alberta’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Graeme Dowling, took the unusual step of bringing the woman’s vagina into the courtroom to show the jury, saying it was necessary for them to understand the dispute over what caused the 11 cm wound.”

That she will dial on the radio and hear this, and scream 

This perfect, integral part of me dissevered like me leaving her

And screaming too, in the end:

The blood would not stop and I said, At least hold my hand

You’re drunk, he said.

I don’t do stuff like that.

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