Post-dinner, colander still in the sink. I’m on my knees, thrusting a barbed plastic stick into my shower drain. Clot after clot of hair, milky grey, what looks like wet paper. And the smell—my stomach muscles kick.
Yesterday, a doctor said the words toxic liver, cystic ovaries—explains your cratered skin, the blank cotton pads every month, that dull ache knocking around your pelvis.
If it goes on, you can’t have kids.
I force the stick deeper, then drag, slowly, like the box says. It snaps back, a snarl of hair climbing it. Some brown water flicks onto my face. I shift to face the toilet bowl, just in case.
How our bodies push against us. Tethered here, tired with us.
Now, even my hair wants me bent over, gutting the earth, fingering the sludge. It has danced down the drain when I wasn’t looking.
It has leveled me, like my liver. My ovaries, little rogue moons, rupturing and hardening.
The drain bubbles and spits. It looks like I will miss my evening programs, the headlines, the reports of new genocide.
I will wake after midnight, and try to scream awake. I will chase
the light switches down the hallway, out to the TV, watch until
I’m horrified—until I see two marble eyes scouring the heavens.
I will write their prayer for them: for rain, for justice, a slice of mango.
I will wait for the rioters, funneled through streets like a locust cloud. I will stay to hear the casualty count.
When I’m asleep again, my cells will turn over themselves, try to sun their backs. My organs, sweating with the pipes of the house as they settle.
Tomorrow, the plumber is coming. He can show me pictures of his kids. I’ll say I dropped a wedding ring down the shower drain, send him looking, watch the lines on his face when he tells me there was nothing to be found.
Caroline Klidonas is a recent graduate from Elon University, currently living in LA. She is a writer, actor, and spoken word artist, as well as the founder of The Silhouettic, a spiritual and motivational blog dedicated to helping people align with their authentic selves.