First Bath, After.

Shallow-end drowning
is no myth to us.

A couple inches here
is all we need to wash or die.

I can hold my breath
under taps for hours,

the faucet fueling
whatever’s left to float.

Still, I can surface too fast—
bubbles boiling my blood.

I’ve shaved my legs
with toothbrushes.

I’ve brushed my teeth
with razors you left.

I’ve birthed our babies
straight into their graves.

I’ll take too many baths
and soak in my own filth

to ever be called clean.