she likes the heat of a hot bath
and an hour ago, the water was scalding.
stepping in, skin exclaiming;
but that was her ache –
scour, scour herself clean.
so much movement in her life
that the sound of the second hand ticking
in the silence of the bathroom, steaming
is enough to realise
she has finally stopped.
and there: the chores done,
the children asleep,
the husband watching (not her) the tv:
there, she lets go, melts into the water
gives in to the madness, the terrifying other.
her mind feels like a best friend forgotten
rediscovered, at a school reunion.
is this who I am, who I was, who I might be?
eyes closed, otherwise wet; she is
her own stranger, gone into hiding.