The First Shower

The front door closed
with my childhood on the other side.

The walls were so white and empty
almost as if to say
“I am sterilizing the past.”
There were no marks on the wall
no scratches dragged down the wall
by grubby preschool hands.

It smelled different
like cleaning supplies and wet paint
instead of wet dog
and the overpowering scent of cheap cinnamon candles
that I always pretended to hate.

The unfamiliar furniture
was the kind you walk into in the middle of the night
bruising thighs and stubbing toes
until you remember the path
(and you never do).

There was nothing to do
so I stripped naked
and stepped into the shower
to wash away the last eighteen years.

Haley Zilberberg is studying Social Work with a minor in Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida. She has been published in Loud Zoo, First Class, and Inklette, where she also serves as an intern.

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3 Responses to The First Shower

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