Kristiana Reed awes on Blood Into Ink
She’s been sinking for days,
the ground a swallowing mud
she’s lost all of her shoes in.
On Monday she was waist deep in regret,
now it’s Sunday and the shame
is creeping up around her throat,
flecks of distance, good enough
and you should have known better.
In her need to be clean she draws a bath
perched on the toilet seat waiting,
nothing but time –
counting cracks in the ceiling,
tired of the solitary company she keeps.
Her filthy feet, cut and dried blood,
enter the water first,
followed by a gripped waist,
ribcage cracked with sobs
and finally her face.
Bath water gathers at her edges,
bubbles shrink pricked with oxygen
she struggles to exhale.
The tiles ask her for all the names
she was called today,
the taps drip condolences
in the gaps between her toes
and the porcelain sides swaddle her
as her mother’s womb…
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