This poem first appeared in Grund 14 (ed. R. D. Lewis)


The steam stripping her of make-up,

she turns the tap with her toe,

surveying the unlocked door.


He lies, belly against bed,

flicking the pages of a magazine

in which he has little interest.


She sighs, the water weighing on her chest,

the foam sparse. She lies exposed,

breasts breaking the surface,

less buoyant than before.


She hears him cough, forever phlegmatic,

hears the springs creak.

She knows he will be standing at the window,

his finger and thumb an L-shape around his chin.


Her feet leave prints in her wake

as she walks towards him,

the droplets sparkling on her skin.


‘You’ll ruin the carpet,’ he says, not looking.

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