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Sunday Afternoon Bathing

by PhillC 

Posted: 18 December 2005
Word Count: 143
Summary: Inspired by the perils of too much Yuletide good cheer.

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White hot water shimmering, scalding
Edges of skin quiver on first touch.
Now under, over, around,
Covered in its welcome shroud,
Body immersed in beautiful buoyancy.
Dark night-time poison squeezed from pores,
Sweat slithering across temples,
Thousands of tiny needles where hair joins skull.
Head resting on smooth white porcelain,
Molten pokers shooting through soft tissue.
Eyes closed staring at magical colours,
Red, purple, orange, star burst.
Distant sounds linger on the edge of consciousness;
Fridge humming, mumbled voices, birds laughing.
From somewhere a draught curls in.
Real or imagined?
Cooling breeze on broiled skin.
Eastern afternoons remembered,
Hints of humidity and iced tea lodged deep in memory.
Drip, drip, dripping of air conditioning.
Or is it the tap?
Ragged breath drawn across
Dirt dry tongue, searching for moisture
Finding false promise of salty lips.
Angels of Codeine appear as the pain subsides.

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Comments by other Members

Cornelia at 07:40 on 19 December 2005  Report this post
This poem makes me want to take a long soak in the bath myself :if you look at my poem called The Good Cry Guide,SE London you will see I also appreciate the healing qualities of a hot bath; Apart from that, though, I like the way this evokes memories of a former place and a past love affair.


chris2 at 11:45 on 19 December 2005  Report this post
PhillC - Highly evocative. An experience carefully observed. It puts the reader right there in the heat of the water!

A couple of editing points:

Should there be a comma or full-stop after scalding?
I don't know if you are in the US or the UK. If UK, maybe change 'draft' to 'draught' for this sense of the word.

Ignore if inappropriate!


PhillC at 11:54 on 19 December 2005  Report this post
Thanks for the comment Cornelia and Chris.

I couldn't decide about the comma after "scalding." I'm also torn about whether one is needed after "moisture" in the third last line.

As for draught/draft you're probably right. I am in the UK, but Australian. While our spelling is mostly "UK English" there are a few things we seem to have inherited from the US. This is probably one of them, but I do prefer draught.

Thanks again.


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