Bidets and such
Friends warn me, one of the hardest parts of
travelling overseas is the unusual toilet configurations.
To be prepared, I practice in the shower. I squat
over the drain and imagine
narrow streets with exotic smells.
Crossing oceans is perilous. The birds
look different, sound different, act different.
In Türkiye, I'm warned, the pipes are so narrow
toilet paper goes in a little bin lest it clog.
This is why bidets are so important.
I bend over under the stream of shower water.
My loves will fly across the world without
so much as a hotel booking. But for me, planning
is vital. Tomorrow I'll fill a backpack with UHT milks
and take the stairs up and down to teach my knees.
I read consumer warnings that airlines will increase the fares
if you search for a flight too frequently.
They put a price on preparedness
because it is so valuable. I sew a secret pocket
into my jeans to hide my secret second back up travel card.
I've read that, in Finland, people sit naked
in hot saunas. I think there is a nudist beach somewhere here
but first, maybe next month, I will try to visit a gym
and strip off my swimmers in the humid changeroom
and only hide in the cubicles a little.
Hot but not heavy
Hot showers give me acne, apparently.
The vloggers are unequivocal:
they're bad for the environment;
they probably cause cancer;
I'm growing mould on the bathroom walls;
and I just don't care.
Leon the Supermarket Lobster may have been
spared a toasty demise but
I want to be boiled.
I want that whistle scream, too high for
human hearing, when steamy worry
and stress escape my glowing red skin.
I want to submerge in bubbling brine.
No more scrabbling in the muck and mud
chewing on worms and my own shed skin.
No more being dragged aboard a
boat in Maine for a notch and a photo op and a fish.
No more sad green-gilled woman.
Passing through heat I become the ideal.
Astaxanthin makes me brilliant cherry red.
Boil me like a questionably immortal crustacean.
Boil me like Patrick Stewart in a bathtub.
Bump it up one more degree,
just boil me, baby.
A binding not affected by moisture or blood
Crying in a taxi
again. I think, maybe I'm
allergic to alcohol.
Or maybe just those chemicals
they put in wine. Preservatives. Most
adhesives require proper ventilation.
I’m so sensitive these days, my eyes
are so itchy. Or maybe
I'm just crying because I love you so
much you gorgeous babe, you
beautiful soul, you
friend of my heart.
Both our hearts are broken and
mended a thousand thousand times.
I’ve heard cyanoacrylate was invented
across the ocean in a wartime jungle
for closing wounds. It burns at the raw flesh,
and these fumes sting my watering eyes.
There we go, the cut is sealed.
The good news is,
you don't need to come back
to have any stitches removed,
but I'd like to see you again
in a fortnight
just to check on how it's healing.
And if you notice any heat, or
redness, or inflammation,
call me straight away.
We can try whiskey next time—I think maybe
I might be less allergic to spirits,
if I just drink it neat.