You lie in the bath these days,
quiet as driftwood
your long limbs dreaming,
fingers playing like seaweed over your flesh
over the lift of your stomach, waxen as a doll’s.
I watch how your breasts float, at home
in the water’s pale green billow
and I want to enfold you.
The stray ends of your hair are sucked with dark
Only your face—too red, little scratches and bumps
as if the water’s withdrawn
and left exposed the dry unease of land.
And though your eyes engage me
I know if I were to lift your fingers, the strands of
to my mouth
they’d feel scratchy
smell faintly sour
and if I were to lean over and embrace you
your tail would lash me
heavy, scaley, spitting bubbles.
From Magma No 27 (Autumn 2003)