Shower Sleep by Amber Koneval

turn on the torrent

as I slide down the glass

my bare flesh sticking slightly

resisting the urge to sleep


my skin shuggers

as my naked thighs rest

on the tile

drawing my knees to my chin

closing my eyes to the rain

the water tastes my flesh

dripping from my collarbones

and curving around my breasts

heaving as they do

resisting the acid erosion

this water melts me down

and carries me down the drain


through the pipes

covered as they are

with the refuse with all the sin we cleanse of ourselves

clogging up the plumbing

with all the bullshit

that we’ve forced underground

out of sight

not out of mind

to the sewers

where all this shit collides

raising to Heaven such a stench of depravity

that God Himself holds His nose

a swirling swamp

of broken bottles

and shards of shattered dreams

dripping with the venom of half-used syringes

and soiled clothing, reeking of sex

tossed into this wasteland

too sickening to ignore and

yet we do


I can see you turn your faces

even as I drain about the filth

washed out to this dump

in my desperate attempt to be clean


and the rain falls again

slapping my face

releasing me from the oppressive heat

created by our corruption

and I float back up the pipes

in a wave

the polluted water of my being

finding a way to coalese

gasping into a wide-eyed girl

her white skin gray with filth

against the purity of the tile

marked red by time

her honesty shamed

by the transparency of the rain


I grab the glass walls

and force myself to stand

slam the water off

and sob into my hands


there is no getting clean

from this

Amber Koneval

-Published in Apogee (2011)


2 thoughts on “Shower Sleep by Amber Koneval

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I always hope that if I’m as truthful as possible with myself about things, that I will be able to convey that kind of honesty to others. Feel free to read all you want!

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