I turn the cold, reflective knobs, and the raging hot water splatters up the porcelain. The air fills with lavender, and I plunge into the baptism of fire. The water scalds and blisters my skin. Let it burn. Let it hurt. Let me feel my flesh rise to the surface and peel. Poached parchment— a taint to be sloughed away. Blood streams from my wounded skin. Your acidic stain is replaced with raw, fragrant flesh.
-- Therese M. Jones, Assistant Professor at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, is the Director of Writing Placement and Editor, Designer, and Coordinator of Lewis’ annual journal, Windows Fine Arts Magazine. She regularly teaches all levels of the First-Year Writing sequence, as well as general education literature courses. She regularly presents papers at the ACCA Scholarship of Pedagogy, the annual NIU English Articulation Conference, and has recently applied for a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to study African American Poets and Poetry. Prof. Jones is a published poet, short story author, book reviewer, and has published many papers on composition.