Petal Journal

Aurora Stewart de Peña


what if you knew me,

and you discovered that

after so long living

in the exact same place as you,

i didn’t know how to shower.

that when i was in there

i rubbed it cold from the tap

in small circular motions with my finger-tips

on my joints and temples

because what else would i be

doing in there with the water rushing?

because my mother

dead for two thousand years

lying with dirt and cut gemstones

between her ribs

taught me never to go in the water

where the fish live

but to remove offending spirits with salt.

you go from wet to dry so quickly

don’t you know i have nightmares

about falling in the lake?

and i get stuck under a boat

and everybody on the surface is laughing,

and the boat has to be my friend now?

don’t you ever worry

while you’re in the shower,

that you’ll never be dry in time?

that this is it?

this is how your skin has to feel forever?

Aurora Stewart de Peña lives in Toronto’s West end. She tends to a small palm tree on her windowsill. She’s had plays produced in Toronto, Brooklyn, Bath & Tuscany. She’s looking forward to a story in the upcoming issue of Little Brother, and has had other work published in The Puritan and The Toronto Standard.