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She Rinsed

She Rinsed

the breakfast dishes

as her children were leaving,

they left two moist goodbye-kisses

on her cheek. She plunged her hands into hot water,

awakening a thousand little scars. Now, the bed sheets were clean.

She was surrounded by all types of water, not blue skinny water like the strip of

Mediterranean, but white, unclear even smelly water. Water foaming to clean the dish, water evaporating in clouds for the children’s bath, for clothes blurry soapy water, smelly dirty

water of the bucket. Her hands were soaked with it.

Even when dried, they looked as if

they were still holding

some water in

their tissue.

The skin

on her hands

appeared older than

the rest of her body.

As if they were removable limbs.

After cooking and putting the clothes on the dryer, she felt warm.

But she couldn’t have it, the mere idea of holding it in her. She pushed the glass away.

She lived in a dry country. With as much sun as there was sea.

But the sun only dried the bed sheets outside.

It would not burn her skin.

It would not make her dry.

She was wet, watery.

At times she wished

she had sinned,

to be lapped by

hell’s flames.


The smelly

blurry water had led her to hate

the blue silvery colour of the sea

and she never wanted to join her family on their day trips to the beach.

As if the view of such a large stretch of blue would make her sick.

She looked at the hour, anguished. They would soon be here.

She stopped breathing.

As soon as he arrived,

he would ask for a bath after a long day.

She would have to deal with water again,

pulling it from the sink to fill the tub.

She felt overwhelmed by dampness.

Her limbs were

heavy with water,

her lungs


Water foaming to clean the dish, water evaporating in clouds, blurry soapy water, dirty water, water. She crushed on a chair waiting around the hour, catching her breath.

She heard the steps of her children coming in,



Light kisses on her cheek, sticky drops on her skin.

She heard the voice of her husband. His arms around her waist. All she remembered of their embrace was his



Of all this world she only acknowledged the irritating drip of its




Théa is an Erasmus student at the University of York, normally residing in France and is an emerging poet.

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