ricky shore CC
How To Take A Shower
1. Set the proper water temperature.
Don’t set it to scald and feel your skin become a field on fire.
You can’t rinse the stain of his violence from your body with more pain.
2. Get in the shower. Wet hair and body.
Don’t turn your face up to the water like a dramatic flower.
You can’t drown in a teaspoon of water despite what you’ve heard.
3. Using desired products, shampoo and condition hair, then wash body with cloth.
Don’t sit on the floor of the tub until your body aches from folding in.
This isn’t a bath and you can’t reach the soap from down here.
4. Turn the water off.
Don’t just stand pressing forehead to cool tiles hoping your body disappears.
Water is a life-saving resource, but this isn’t what that means.
5. Repeat as needed.
Don’t come back again today. Please.
A shower isn’t history’s healing solvent.
6. Realize, after all these decades, you were never dirty.
The Fallacy of Stability
I walked by a Range Rover perched on an 8-inch-high snow mountain.
I see you water, in your winter shape, proudly resisting that
hunk of metal who ran you over with his needs.
I couldn’t master snow. Maybe it’s easier with orderly molecules, bonds not
broken by the wrong hands. All the storm rioting inside me could manage
was a puddle, longing for thunder, but only noticed when feet get wet.
I did learn to teach my atoms to dance, but the music only ever stopped
at ice. Under certain conditions ice is harder than steel,
but it’s brittle. Too cold for a slow melt, tension releases sharp shards.
At the point of snapping, my molecules finally found a blow torch, opened the
once frozen faucet and let flow the hurricane of hurt. I wanted to be the
storm’s eye conductor, but my brain couldn’t work the flood gates.
I could only shape a raging river hellbent on carving canyons
out of flesh, or the ocean in the winter,
waves howling with hunger for bones.
Slowly, I learned to weave my own patterns. My 60% can
break your back, take your breath, give you life.
I am sweet, salt, hard, yielding, destroying, creating.
Melissa M. Forbis is a queer femme cultural anthropologist, organizer/activist, and poet. Her publications on social movements and state violence have appeared in academic and popular media in the U.S., Mexico, and Chile.She is also a competitive powerlifter and coach who uses strength as a tool for personal and community resistance.
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