Plastic cups and basins, green and yellow,
lay on the tiled bathroom floor…or fall, flop!
as my skinny limb pours water like petals.
Scalding water dresses me as
the damp yawn of the night passes
by the awning window above.
Rough nets veil my hands like lace.
Khadja enters; I clench my small fists
around the net and scrub my body.
Brown reveals red bands and rashes.
Khadja says “Avoid the lair
of the Ngongogo, this hideous monster.”
To hear the squeak of clean flesh
Khadja’s finger bends as
it rubs my face. Dirty.