Steam in the changing rooms, stripping off after the race,
breathes like an engine. The air is filled up with her loss,
her saintly pearlescence, which turns the flesh faintly cerise.
Steam lilting out of the shower, feeling limber and loose,
can’t shake her mood as she slips into clothes. It’s a case
of lingering heartache, no matter the form of release.
Steam drinking sake, her mind on the chance of a kiss,
gapes as if listening. Oh, but it all sounds so nice!
She can’t hear a word through the din that’s her dreaming, of course.
Steam at the mountain spring, bruisy with slovenliness,
senses the pain in the milkmaid, the millionairess.
The boys whom she sleeps with go swimming. The men reminisce.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) brings all these elements together, while he also collates, collaborates and anthologises through Sidekick Books, the small press he runs with Kirsten Irving. He won a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and the Poetry London competition in 2014.