Water Pressure by Sapphyre Smith
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Water Pressure by Sapphyre Smith

Water Pressure by Sapphyre Smith


you turn your head in the shower

curve your neck, just so

and let the water run down your cheek like a hand cupping your face

a palm thrumming with the heartbeat of summer rain.


this is the part where you forget

float on steam and the promise of a train back home

to mom’s tired smiles and dad’s bone-crushing hugs

to a bed that knows the shape of your body

and footsteps you recognize before the knock on your bedroom door

two months.


it’s warm and soft, and vapor curls lightly around you

crowning your hair with misty feathers

you let rivulets rock you into a hazy standing sleep

and dream of cooking in a kitchen that knows your old patterns


a chug, a switch, the pressure changes –

and now you’re standing in cold condensation

icy fingers slide through your scalp, shock the breath from your lungs

you let the frigid radiation crystallize your blood,

let it drive your two months lifeboat to an icy grave

because now not even water wants to hold you

and there is no one here to ask you if you need help to change the pressure.


it pushes you away but you stay

because the cold brings out the blue in your veins, the pebbles in your skin

it holds, even as it shoves, and you tell yourself

it’s better than nothing.