Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hot water (3-21-11)

In all of the world right now
my favorite place to be is
the Korean spa downtown

Normally I would mention the name and location
because I like specifics in my poetry
but there are no friends
I want to join me here
by accident or intention

When I am here
I am here alone
There are Korean women next to me
watching their Korean shows on the flat screens

They are there
But tey are not at the same time
I come often so they are use to me
To them perhaps
I am here
and I am not at the same time

Mostly I love to go late at night
or early in the morning
when it is quiet
and the water is too hot for most people
but not for me

Well, for me too
but I can get comfortable in hot water
It's a skill I developed early in life
my therapist said

I get used to hot water
It's what has me stay in relationships
longer than I should

The water is scalding
and I am wading around
with Negro spirituals in my head

Until I look up one day
and my skin is crawling off my body
Then I know it's time to go

I sit in the hot tub for as long
as I can stand it
get out and relax in the chairs just above
watch the steam float off my body

I should be able to resist saying
I let off steam
I can't
I am the same corny third grade girl
I always was

Shower time again
I let the hot water hit my back

Dry off and go into the sauna
The steam is good for my skin
I think
Steam is good for my dreams
I think

I can't handle the sauna as long
as I can the hot tub
but I stay as long as I can

Shower again
Wash away the sweat and steam

I get my water my notebook my pencils my ipad
Go to the rest area
where there are the biggest
most comfortable softest most reclinable
lazyboys ever

I begin a new story new prose
The wi fi is free and sometimes
I browse the internet
mostly I write

I don't know if it's the
sweat the steam all the showers
the hot hot water
but I love what's coming out of me
and into my journals

Well, I don't love it all
but there is freedom in the release
freedom in telling the stories

The abortion the miscarriage the breakup
The marriage in my early twenties
to a man too full of rage to listen
to anything outside the nonsense of
his own revolution
and so was I
so we fit
until the water got too hot

My son my nephew and niece
My mother my sister my friends
the balance of my life

Poetry art the busses and trains
The planes the clubs
the diners the wine
the music the kiss the rain

It all comes out in the hot tub
the sauna the shower

I do love my life
looking back on all of it
I wouldn't choose to be anyone but me

I love hanging out with myself
Knowing and loving me more every day

I know hot now when I feel it
I don't need another relationship
that makes my skin crawl

I have let off enough steam
Dreamed enough good dreams
to recognize
too hot from far away
and not to go near

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