The Bubble Bride
(in the hydrotherapy bath, The St Andrews Bay Hotel)

As I sink in, she taunts me and I purl and rollick,
my knuckles splaying; my legs are pilloried
to keep me in my place; her ways are wiles,
so much going on beneath her surface
and when she lets off steam, her scents are citrus,
carrots, coconut and pine. My blood chicanes,
raises its game, and says okay. She bids me sweat
and grabs me by the shoulders, birling me,
lambada, tango, waltz in triple triple time, a Bach
cantata capers up and someone chants in Basque,
my spine's a glockenspiel; she pushes me
into a crowd with a place-to-be and fast,
foaming, swirling me now while squibs leap up
and puddles puff and pop-guns volley off.
Her fingers tingle soles and calves, my sides
are split with tickles, swollen muscles
soothed and scapulae placated, my bride-
to-be makes me a fizzcake fusing in the water,
her ration, her ruddy Romeo, her helping:
a suddy and sizzling Szechuan platter, full,
willing and fuelling the bathsides with my breath,
my heart thudding and scudding in the surge,
her spray played at my nape, I call, I will. I will!
And from the spa, the bridesmaid in her white uniform
slips in to check the job is done and, in the gloam,
a vapour trousseau, a cumulus of sultry weather
roils wet and warm around the treatment room.
I lie here, the muttering groom, a lulling tide
of semi-sleep shifting in me and the bubble bride
parading up and down my back forever.


This poem is from a forthcoming pamphlet The Bubble Bride, due from the Scottish press Akros some time in May.

If you've any comments on his poem, Roddy Lumsden would be pleased to hear from you.