A SHOWER IN THE DARK
Few things can relax a person quite like it—
the bathroom door cracked just enough
to let the outside glow through,
giving shape to the nozzle, the soap, the cloth.
There’s no need for anything more,
for colors, for words, only the shadows
cast on the wall, the warmth,
the steam and breath,
the ear attuned only to the sound of the spray,
like a page perpetually torn;
the eyes content to close, unstrained;
the skin against the fluid textures of water.
Or the smells—the oils, the fruits,
the olfactory meeting of sweat and clean.
It could be a way to inhabit Plato’s allegory,
after the business of the wash is finished,
when only your silhouette remains,
when there’s nothing to examine
but the mind’s corner of this makeshift cave.
This is time spent with the ideal,
as though you could turn and swipe curtain aside,
your own raw potential still hovering there, tangible
as fog on glass. Carry the memory of its nearness,
because when the flow stops, and the last drips
of solitude trickle down the drain, you’ll flip a switch
on the wall, soon searching for that same glimpse
of the self, and find that a mirror is not the same.
In a Drier Place than the Subject may Suggest
September 30, 2014
"A Cavern, Moonlight"
Oil on Canvas
Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797)