Bathe You Away / by grace mcgrade


I tried to fix the pain with baths. Countless baths.

Trying to suspend my sorrow in holy water,

to fill myself with something

that was not you.

Drawing bath after bath, floating, dying to be submerged and held for hours on end.

Some with rose petals, witch hazel, sea salt, and opalic clouds of foam- to make you softer, to make me prettier.

Some were cunning. Those ones were dyed crimson, with dragons blood and jasmine, burning so hot that they stained my skin and left an afterglow, so I could seduce and lure you back, savagely, quickly.

There were bright ones, with honey and marigold, milk, lavender and amber- to draw the happiness out of you. To make your eyes light up at the sight of me, again. To help you remember.

Then there were ones with charcoal, brewed of blood and snakes venom, to purge you out of me.

The darkest, blackest things. To make me hard and strong.

And each time I would emerge, unquenched and dehydrated by you, seething.

It’s different now. There is a dissonance in knowing I am holy and being treated otherwise. It's too intense for you, with so much soul it seeps out of me, seeps out of my hands and fingers like rivers with the magnitude of stars. I did not come here to concern myself with the hearts of men. God is my drug dealer.

I long to stray back into the forest and rest amidst the woods and mountains and learn their secrets before anyone else’s.

To be mystically baffled by something bigger than you or me.

Only the earth can give me what I need.