The first bath after leaving the institution was a baptism. 

I surrendered it all to the water like dark offerings to a dark god. 

In the swirls of warm water, I unfurled my armor, scraping it away 

with the razor blade over my fuzzy legs, secreted it to the soapy suds 

that clung to my skin until I rinsed it away, rinsed it all away 

as an offering, a surrender, a transmutation. I combed it all from my hair, 

the flying chairs in fits of rage, the sudden ranting at no one in particular.

only heard by uncaring ears whose solution was simply to 

let them tire themselves out, the endless empty hours hours hours. 

I combed it again and again from my hair, from root to tip, root to tip, root to tip 

until the dark god was satisfied, until I was empty once again, 

alone in my skin once again. 

I held myself in my own body. I held myself in the safety of home and

love and that which was invisible to me back when I was chasing ghosts. 

I held myself here, in this body, baptised and empty, 

the zen of void like a balm, like a bomb, like a boon, 

favored by the water for all of the dark gifts offered up that day. 

Lynn-Cee Faulk has been obsessed with reading and writing for as long as they could read and write. Reading supplied a window to the world outside of their small farming community in south Georgia and a road map to a way of being other than what their disordered upbringing provided. They still believe in the power of the written word to change lives. As a writer, poetry was their first love. Their publications include: Confessions: Micropoetry on Love, Loss, and LongingA Pound of Pale Winter Blues, and Blood on the Vine.

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