I began to run the tub:  a familiar grieving place. I loved the containment. the colors.  threw a yellow cap in.  looks like urine. I threw a red tab to make it dark pink.  I can’t take anything less than wide open, spacious. all walls were  constricting. I also feel the need to be swaddled like a baby. I like pacifiers. something in my mouth, something to hold me. something to press upon me. I walked back to my room unsure of myself. I was trapped in a bad place and a bad place. Philadelphia, America. grabbed jasmine oil. walked to tub, sprinkled. walked back. put it away. I didn’t think about anything while I did it even how steep the stairs are. the ritual was nice. the movement. there is no time.I got into the tub as it started to fill. a habit of mine. I couldn’t wait for it to finish and I wanted to listen to the water run. I noticed my feet first: lanky, bony then my legs, different, bigger. my hands though: young, like when I was a child. all my acrylic nails off except the two thumbs. one of them wavering under water, loose, ready to be pulled off. I watched my hands turn in the water like that slowly as it filled. noticing my calves against them. it looked like there were bumps up and down my shin bone. my legs have changed. my hands have grown. one day, they will be wrinkled. the water on top of my hands felt nice and was pleasing to look at. even though my nails they were beaten brittle short like when I was in elementary school,  I could feel my young hands grow out of that place. I could feel my old voice say you have to take the pressure off and then I just moved  downward till my forehead touched the water. I remembered swimming. spending days at the pool, hours in the water in the ocean or the bay. waves didn’t scare me.  I liked riding them in the surf. the deep end didnt scare me. I was an excellent swimmer.  then what happened?  the male voice says. and me answering without pause, and then one day i developed an intense phobia of water. I could see my toes, curled on the porcelain, the way they were when they were feeling for mole crabs. I could see my head falling under and an intense
and
inescapable
fear of drowning.

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