Coming Out of the Shower

I shut my eyes under the scalding stream
…………..scrubbing off last night’s dream
when suddenly I hear your voice again
……as though it caught in the clogged drain

and was sent bubbling back up from the other
…………..world where you’re not my mother.
This time it’s really you. I’m really here.
……I blink. We do not disappear.

Dad left, you say, to shower at the shop
…………..so I don’t need to stop
just yet—and yet I do, unable to
……resume old customs, unlike you.

In a one-bath four-person household, we
…………..learned what we mustn’t see,
become, in time, so coolly intimate
……with one another’s silhouette

behind the opaque frosted shower screen
…………..that once more stands between
us two. While at the mirror you apply
……foundation and concealer, I

wash out my hair with argan oil shampoo,
…………..which means I’ll smell like you
all day. Mama, I shout, I’m coming out,
……and as you look away I knot

around me tight your lavender robe de chambre,
…………..cinching my waist, and clamber
out of the tub, taking care not to step
……outside the cotton mat and drip

on the cracked floor you’ve polished with such zeal
…………..we’re mirrored in each tile.
Yet, you’d forgive the spillage, or forget.
……What else will you love me despite?

Armen Davoudian

Armen Davoudian

Armen Davoudian’s poems and translations appear in AGNI, The Sewanee Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Swan Song, won the 2020 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. He grew up in Isfahan, Iran and is currently a PhD candidate in English at Stanford University.
Armen Davoudian

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Author: Armen Davoudian

Armen Davoudian’s poems and translations appear in AGNI, The Sewanee Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Swan Song, won the 2020 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. He grew up in Isfahan, Iran and is currently a PhD candidate in English at Stanford University.