Morning Shower

One foot testing the water,
I stand unbalanced between
myself: the covered and the naked–
the space between silence
and an outward shell.

This water has touched skin before:
liquid time–eyes of the past.
It falls and rises: steam marking
mirror, water striking skin.

The heart beneath feels light
enough to be dissolved.
I shower with my clothes on today:
spongy armor, temporal cloth.

I never know how much I leave
behind; the water drowns away
so much with so little trace–
and each time just a little less,

until the distance between
barriers has been ground so far
as to be the same: no guard
between sorrow and body,
body and time.

The mirror is no help at the end
of it all: animated now by shadows–
a rosy kind of nothingness
more reflection than the glass.

In the gray, self-departed mist,
it is peaceful–no one to know
or remember: steamed out of existence,
so close to death as to be in love.

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