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Consider the Selkie

Bex Hainsworth

'Consider the Selkie' was first published in Visual Verse, Vol 09, Chapter 03.

Bex Hainsworth is a poet and teacher based in Leicester, UK. She won the Collection HQ Prize as part of the East Riding Festival of Words and her poetry has been published following commendations in the Welsh Poetry, Ware Poets and AUB Poetry competitions. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Lake, MONO., Atrium and Brave Voices Magazine.

I sink into the steaming water,
wrap it around me like a coat.
The tub follows my curves,
holds me close, enamel mermaid purse.
A shower wouldn’t satisfy:
I need to wear water like a skin.
It is a process, learning
to like this body, its ripples
and roundness. The way
my thighs press into
the smooth arms of the bath.
But then I consider the selkie.

Almost-more-than siren
and her blubber, the folds
of her soft belly, bursting
from seal slip. Perhaps this
is why I am fond of the water,
the way its cloth clings to
my nakedness: I feel less raw,
unexposed. It is a journey,
but maybe, after this soaking,
I will slow down in front of the mirror
and stop searching for another skin.

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