Bath water gathers at her edges,

bubbles shrink pricked with 

oxygen and her probing thoughts, finger.

The 40 watt bulb becomes a thick aura,

neither here nor there as

beneath the surface she senses

only her heart beat, beat, beat. 

She’s naked in and out of water,

peeling away layers she hopes

she can only see,

lifting her edges with finger and thumb, reluctantly,

like the lip of a skirt in a breeze.

Tiles merge into one sheen, cold surface which

her skin slips upon, slides against.

Stale bath water clings to her curves,

hugs her tightly, pulls her down

beneath the surface where breathing is here nor there, 

she senses 

only her heart beat, beat, beat. 

Drowning isn’t an option but 

nor is she living. 

Her back, behind and balls of her feet 

push against the solid water 

and like a pirate’s prize she leaves

the water, glistening and wet, alive.

Standing, edges lobster red and centres soft.

The towel is coarse, a constraint,

barely covers the inches she pinches, sucks in.

Beneath her sheets splayed or foetal 

is here nor there, all she wishes to hear

is her heart beat, beat, beat.