I’ve made home in my bathtub
where water traces its way down my back,
rivulets breaking where bones peek out through skin.
My eyes shut, I can remember fingers
slim and calloused, nails cut jagged in a hurry,
were here before the water
tracing letters in a language that died as the hands left me,
that meant nothing more than names scribbled absent-mindedly on wet sand at the beach.
never having known the touch
of hands that were capable of writing verses of endless longing.
not knowing that those verses meant no more than
wrinkles in a bed sheet, smoothed out as soon as your feet find the ground in the morning,
crinkles in a page, unfolded before you return a book to the library
flyaway strands of hair,
pleading to be tucked away by hands
that meant to say nothing at all.
Written by Mihika Antonia Dean
Artwork: Sin of Innocence by Elaine Qiu.