She stands in urine
that coats a forgotten men’s restroom,
light from a single 40-watt bulb
flickers her shadow against tile,
there is a miasmal moistness
that crawls up the mirrors
and makes the porcelain slick.
Thick yellow urine trickles down
her bare legs, warmth against cold,
comfort to ease the submitted rape
that occurred ten minutes ago,
ten years ago, probably will
happen again when she searches
for salvation in the company of strangers.
The smell reminds her of childhood
hidden from her father in the bathroom,
toilet and bathtub filthy, neglect
left her to sleep to the sound
of water eroding the enamel
to black and wait until
he breaks the locked door down.
S. P. Flannery was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and now resides in Madison. His poetry has appeared in Revival, Random Acts of Writing, Poetry Salzburg Review, Snow Monkey and Moulin Review.