Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Two poems by Rachel Bower

© Jan Bella




after Matthew Siegel


The sea is not as white
as I expected. A lifeguard
tapes gauze on my baby’s hand,
secures the pad. It’s okay,
it’ll be over soon.

The waves splash to my
belly. My breasts leak,
a turquoise vein swells.

A woman once stood to her chest
as the tide crept in, foot planted
where she dropped the bright ring.

A needle
in a haystack. Saline slips
down the tube, stinging cold.
I hold you high as we wade out.





10 weeks old


As he grows
stronger, rounder, smoother,
I begin to rattle inside my skin,
across the stomach,
a crinkled blouse
draped over dough.

These breasts, still milk-full
in time will shrink, crease,
then the eyes will cloud,
the skin crack
near the mouth
and I will peel it right back

and      slither out
bright new      clean.

Then I will reel in shock.
That cast skin was the tale
of our becoming.
Panicking, I will hunt down
the scraps,
gather strips

scrunch them tightly at the waist
and twist
to the flare
of bronze chiffon,
sashay our story
through the town.






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