The Raifang Station chamber of stalls
is a gallery of latrine-ic icons on doors
inviting one to chose
between Western or traditional
while hopping with qued-up
I grab the first open door
push past my predecessor
a woman so ancient her legs have turned to wood
yet she prefers a squatter.
My knees wince, grimace, flinch
in fearful anticipation.
We can do this, I assure them
positioning my feet on porcelain grooves
white as the snow
not fallen on Jilongshan
in over 80 years.
But what about splatter?
I wonder, I fear, I exhale, relieved.
A ceramic guard well-spaced
keeps drops and plops in their place
and a pull-chain tank delivers a final cascade
further washing away potential disgrace.
Illustration courtesy wikihow.com