By Santino Prinzi

IMG_1351Unwrap the bath bomb, dip it into the steaming bath. Don’t let it go. Don’t let any of this go. Let the bubbles fizzle in your hand, let it dissolve through your fingertips. Hover your palm above the water. Gritty freshness catches beneath fingernails; you hope it never washes away. Count your breaths. Your eyes stream while you hold the bath bomb to your ears, ears once considered too small to hear sizzling. Step into the tub and smear the remnants of the bath bomb over your body, a body that’s yours but not yours, a body you’ll do something about soon, very soon. Action still overdue. Dry your eyes first, then the body. Your father thinks he knows what you’re doing in there and he’s only half right. He says, it ain’t right for a man to spend so long in the bath. You don’t correct his mis-gendering. He never listens. You sniff the air and smile. Six weeks until this humdrum town can fizzle through your fingers, until this man will deny all knowledge of your becoming. It all smells new like lemongrass and salt.

Santino Prinzi is a Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day in the UK, a Consulting Editor for New Flash Fiction Review, and is one of the founding organisers of the annual Flash Fiction Festival. His flash fiction pamphlet, There’s Something Macrocosmic About All of This (2018), is available from V-Press, and his short flash collection, Dots and other flashes of perception (2016), is available from The Nottingham Review Press. To find out more follow him on Twitter (@tinoprinzi) or visit his website: santinoprinzi.com

Art by Lesley C. Weston (Alcohol Ink and Gouache)

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