Wash Me

by Destiny Diaz

I showered with the door open

the bathroom door unlocked

I hoped that as I rinsed my hair of suds

you’d somehow find your way back

that when I opened my eyes

I’d find you crawling into the shower

with me like you would do before.

The only thing that came in

was this cold breeze

invited in by open doors.

You weren’t coming back.

I knew this and still

I waited.

The water got cold.

The steam faded.

and still I waited.

I’m not sure what stung more

the ice that slid down my spine

reminding me of how long

I had been standing there

or the pain that settled in

the next morning when I went

to brush my teeth and saw

the shower door was still open.

It became one of my daily reminders

that you had left and I had stayed.

And I had waited far too long

for you to come in and wash me.

I began to hate the bathroom.

I avoided it.

Do you know how mad

you have to be to want to shower

but to loathe the loneliness

of the task so much so you never try?

It took me 3 days.

3 days to try again and still even then

I cried. But crying felt good.

Like I was weeping for everything

that was and could have been.

Because I couldn’t face

the faucet without you

Because you weren’t coming back

and I needed to shower.

I almost lost myself to the drain that day.

But I survived, picked myself up

off the bathroom floor

silenced the roaring waters.

I decided to wash me.

Wash your memory off of me

and keep the me you chose to leave.

I learned to wash her hair,

to massage her feet and calves.

I decided to learn to love

to shower again.

And I am so glad I did,

because you didn’t come back

And I would have waited there forever

For you to come in and wash me.

Instead I learned to love me.

Photos by Ruth Chincanchan