The water is hot. It would burn if I cared. There is steam rising from me like the ghost of a phoenix.
I open my eyes and I am on a plane. I am flying to a place that I don't know and I am leaving a place that I have already forgotten. I am circling all around the sun. It is a beautiful dream. I am over the sea.
The water is hot. I close my eyes beneath its fury. My face is upright and I see nothing. I am blinded with eyes sealed shut. All I know is the feel of sweat as it runs from my brow and lingers lazily across my lips like so many saltwater kisses.
They leave the taste of tears.
I open my eyes and I am standing in a city. I lived here once or I live here now. There are faces in the distance and street signs that I cannot read. They are memories and things yet to come and their dance is sweet and awkward and the tune is Gershwin or something catchy that I find myself humming.
I am humming it now, backed by the sound of water on flesh. It is like a drum left alone in a rainstorm. I am alone in a rainstorm. My song swirls at my feet, dips the girl and is gone.
All drains lead to the sea.
I open my eyes and I am older than I care to be. My children are walking away from me on a concrete treadmill. In the snow. Uphill, both ways. They are fast forward. They have bags and children of their own and they have chains heavy upon them. I trust they make merry all the year.
I am slow motion.
The lights fade. The curtain falls. I catch myself falling upon the shower wall. I am holding it up. It is keeping me in. It is a portal to possibility. It is a door to hide behind. It is a lone tree in open fields that stretch forever. It is dark and the water is hot.
I open my eyes and I am home. My skin is raw and pink as I step from the steam. I am so fresh. I am so clean. Each breath is better than the last and I am as young as I will ever be.