Wash Away; Folding by Gina Manchego Zufall


Wash Away

I only allow myself to weep when I’m in the shower. Exposed and completely vulnerable.


I deceive myself and say it’s just spray from the nozzle. Not crying eyes.

Both precipitations fall indiscriminately anyway. Sometimes lies are ok.


Maybe the soap suds won’t notice

my shame. The bubbles do their best to wash the regret down the drain.


The plastic bottle keeps my secrets.

It only spills shampoo out of its flip-top mouth. Not knowledge of my sad thoughts and dark past.


Fleeting, painful release. There is never enough time, the water gets cold quickly. I turn the faucet off, along with the emotion.


Step out and towel off with hope, that my conscience will remain

clean and my guilt is gone.


Folding

Formalities.


I’ve gotten a box so I can send back your things.


Taking your clothing off the hangers.

One by one, leaving bare bones and bent necks. Like roosting cranes in winter, perpetually looking down. Sad eyes, cast to the ground.


Folding.

Your shirts becoming sullen origami.

Tucking in the sleeves, pleating the hems. Condensing the memories.


I breathe you in, cologne still lingers by the collars of your v-necks.


I hold your hoodie against my face, one last time. Pretending you are in it. I shut my eyes tight in the lonely silence, I can still hear your heart beating through the fabric.


I finish with a note:


“It hurts too much to keep your things. Also, it’s not right to wear your promise ring. Especially since all of our promises have been broken.”


Folding.

With trembling fingers and wet lashes, I crease a tiny envelope out of the “goodbye” paper.

A resting place for the ring and the farewell. Words and ink bleed together before I sink the message deep within a suit pocket.


Finally, I close the box, and collapse.


Folding,

in on myself.