water splash on stainless steel shower

Flash No. 30 – Marcelo Castro Salinas

The Man on the Wall

by Marcelo Castro Salinas

I see the man’s face on the back wall of the shower. Empty-minded, I stare as the water splashes on the crown of my head. The man always stares back. Trick-of-the-mind: Pareidolia, fooling people into random patterns and visions, bestowing human or divine traits to objects and places that turn into shrines. It happens with mermaids, Virgins, or Jesus, on charred toasts, rocks, shadows, or relics. Nobody else knows this man on the wall. He leans forward, twisting his body to meet my gaze. The dogs wait for me outside the shower. They perch, perfectly still. The dogs and the man foretell and track my every move. I turn the lights off and leave.

Marcelo Castro Salinas was born in Mexico City and lives in Connecticut. He earned an MA in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

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