We weren't the best of friends, then again,
we couldn't have been. She was my boyfriend's
and lived at his house. We spoke quite a lot,
at first about work, weather, clothes, a few weeks later,
overweightness, hairspray. Then, sex,
though never of what we did in the bath.
Dripping over her mat, her razor would bear
the hallmark or signature of my hairs.
She said not a thing. Once or twice, I saw the bath filthy,
more importantly, the dead fish of my soap staring
from the rockpool of the plughole. It ended in our local --
her coming in as I tasted my seventh whiskey,
bent almost triple over her husband.
My toenails and their woe that night --
sliced in my mouth, hacked for hours with my own nail file.
I couldn't bring myself to use her scissors. The next day
my soap, dry and dead, was in my soap dish,
stuck solid, where I had left it.
© 1999 Juliette Jones, all rights reserved
appears here by permission