I used to hate baths
before I was hospitalized and became one
for a day, under a team of heart surgeons,
a flock of hands in my open chest.

When I came home stripped
to ten-year old smooth nakedness,
a red track down the middle
of my torso closed up.

All around it, lines of blue
ballpoint ink, describing what was
under the surface, a circle round my
heart, text on how to get there.

I stepped into the bathtub
soaking off the ink, comforted
that someone knew me well
enough to draw a map.

One dot of ink refused
to be washed away, mistakenly
written on the underside of my skin
while I was still peeled back.

Now I bathe every evening, hoping that
someone with typo blood on her hand-
iwork might recognize the indelible ink,
recite the missing ballpoint.