Bare feet step onto the cold black and white mosaic tiles.
A few tiles are missing, revealing beige glue embedded with purple lint.
An inconveniently small black knob, striped with old toothpaste
to illuminate the reluctant fluorescent fixture above the sink.
Red blood vessels peek through the yellowed whites of tired eyes.
Invisible throbbing temples nag about the previous night’s
on the forehead. New, maybe.
“What the hell is that?”
Water makes the spot more prominent.
Closer inspection reveals nothing to Ignorance.
Hotter water. Washcloth. Scrub.
A patch of red grows underneath pressing fingers,
framing the spot, adding significance.
The sharp, chipped medicine cabinet door creaks open.
Crusty accouterments reside inside.
Razor, rusty tweezers, safety pin.
Tap water attempts to cleanse the stainless steel.
The coarse grain is pressed against the skin.
Harder, more pain, white flakes.
Stop abruptly. A deep breath.
Bite down. Grind harder, specks of blood.
It’s still there.
A thumb grazes the pointed tip.
The tip is pushed underneath the blemish.
A heavy breath bounces off the hard walls.
A wave of hurt banishes the demons.
A slight twist to peel the flesh.
Blood streams around the brow and down the cheek.
The offending piece sits on the point of the file.
A flick casts it into the toilet labeled Standard.
A wad of toilet paper pushed into the wound.
Rinse the file and put it back to rest.
Bare feet exit.
Leaving a now sweat-stained, mosaic tile floor.