Why I Like Hot Showers

Gian Lorenzo Bernini The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, detail

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Why I Like Hot Showers

 

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Forgive me, for I have sinned.img_8380-e1546872981240.jpg
It’s been more than a day
since my last confession.

I am engulfed and ablaze,
arms outstretched to embrace
this liquid fire, my face

thrown upward in rapture,
serene as St. Theresa’s.
I’ve already thought

of the symbolic qualities
of ablution and have
nothing more to add

to the volumes
crowding library shelves,
but one thing: this morning,

for a brief moment, I slipped
out of my skin and into
the pelt of rushing water.

I know now what it feels like to be
one with the penitent,
my vaporous self

gaining substance as it touches
flesh, as it blends
with the smooth pearls of sweat,

falls heavily onto the tiles,
and downhill from there
into the ever waiting, roaring gut

of a hellish drain.

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First published in Ponder Review,Volume 2, Issue 2, Fall 2018 (print edition only)

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