I thought 41 would have an older face than this middle-sized woman hiding in the bathroom. This place where things depart. My sanctuary of grief. A place to store hair-ties and old brushes, worn deodorants and small bottles of lotions, soaps and creams. The smell of my family. I come here to cry. I come here to feel. “I am an American,” scream I, “and the bathroom is my right.” My woman’s place. My allotment of space by the lords of marriage. “Go there, middle woman,” they say, “and ye shall be hidden.” Go there and feel strong. Go there when you feel too weak to speak. Go there and be free. Rest your hands in the cotton gods of the bathroom so that you may rise up again to govern the hall.
© Jessica Zeek Krebsbach 2020