Another night smeared with swooning heat
and dribbles of sweat collect
in the folds and furrows of her stomach,
beneath her fleshy breasts and between
her thighs. She breathes in its acridity.
The bathroom light shines on glistening skin:
she grimaces, turns off the taps
and reads the label on a plastic tub –
‘Peppermint oil (50mg) in a gelatine capsule’ –
She counts and drops them in. One two three
four golden globules bob and float,
their enteric coats deflating and dissipating
slowly, faint rainbows forming as they
cave into coolness, as they shrivel and spin
tinting the water with mint.
She lowers her seal-slick body into the bath,
and sighs intemperately, as the Fahrenheit falls.
The empty host-shells hover like ghosts as
she lies back, eyes closed. She slows her breathing
and dozes in delicious frigidity, until
unnoticed, her own capsule starts to unravel.
Epithelial cells slide off and glide
to the surface; tissue trickles out of her, silently.
She does not wake to watch pearls of bone
detach and swirl, flecks of fat convected
upwards, or her muscles start to dissolve.
When the water has crept to cold, all that’s left
are remnants of her own integument
mingled with gelatine slither on the meniscus,
and the smell of toothpaste.
Morgaine Merch Lleuad
If you have any comments on this poem, Morgaine Merch Lleuad
would be pleased to hear from you.