Three numbers on a slip of ripped paper
Left on top of the toilet paper dispenser.
Somewhere, a lock is compromised and I, alone, have the combination
Because I couldn’t bear to leave those three precious
Numbers to sit beside an automatic toilet
And possibly be flushed by careless hands.
They were abandoned by carelessness or forgetfulness
Or the fact that some other woman was in a rush…
To get to her children? To get to her class so she could
Spin off her weight and dance to beautiful tone-ness.
I honestly thought, for a three digit moment, about trying
Every lock in the room, going through all the spinning clocks
Hanging in the locker area.
Not with the intent to steal.
Not even with the intent to scrutinize and judge.
But merely to peruse.
Who are you?
What is tucked in the folds of your bag?
I have pony-tail holders, elastic headbands in vibrant colors,
A pair of cheap flip-flops that I wear into the shower so that I
Won’t slide on the water-slickened floors (I’ve done it and fret
About my towel flying away like a dead second skin and
Showing to the world all my ugly imperfections).
I have shampoo and conditioner…a dulled razor,
Deodorant that is crumbling from having been dropped too many times.
I have pens in the pocket next to my daughter’s ear buds,
In case I need to write, in case words flood my brain instead of
Endorphins and adrenaline
I have a semi-colon on my back,
A simple punctuation mark on my right shoulder.
A statement, an incomplete sentence,
A separation of words,
A combination of sentences that do not exist but
Stream across the cross where my spine meets my arms
And spin to my clavicle, rest in the hollow
Of my throat, ride up my larynx and leap.