I sit alone, naked, in my room
Water drips off my now chilled body
from a cleansing that did not work.

On days like these,
when I can’t stop the memories
I still believe
I can wash the terror off.

My cheek rests upon my knee
Breathe in deeply,
exhale slowly
repeat mantras of how everything will be okay.

I get dressed and go out into the world
where people mistake my composure for ease
I am an expert at hiding the turmoil
Beneath the surface is an ocean of quivering fear.

Written first week of September 2021.