Steam

John Levett

Tipped up inside the gleaming room
Her wet hair streamed into the sink,
Warm water shed its snorkeled bloom
Onto her raw, responsive nape;
Dead lathers left her in the pink,
The bubbles made their charmed escape.

The whole scene was detachable.
Oatmeal and lemon, white and green,
The towel fluffed on the cork-topped stool,
The burst sachet, the malformed tube,
The three sides of wet polythene
That curtained the hygienic cube.

She turned and disappeared with steam
Into her freshly opened pores,
Successive rinses briefly seamed
The camber of filmed porcelain
Then spiralled down to re-explore
The sponge’s dumped, exotic brain.

Afterwards the place was light,
The heavy condensation gone,
The white-glazed tiles were watertight,
The mirror cleared, the shelves streamlined.
In a while, she’d said, perhaps she’d phone
Or write if she had half a mind.