It’s those first few seconds in the shower,
when you can taste the sweat that dried
in dirty streaks down your face, taste
the salt of your own labor streaming
down the drain. The sting of hot water
breaking through bacteria on your back,
the sensation of invisible bugs burning,
crawling frantically from the clean.
When that first layer is gone, that film
of fluids your body expelled under
the duress of your daily run, when it’s
no longer part of you, then you feel
nothing. No heat, no ache, no shock.
So you turn up the heat and let it
burn just a little bit longer.