You should go skinny dipping, he says.
It will free you up. I fling off
my evening dress, and jump.
I never thought the Cherwell
could be so cold in May.
The icy splash embraces me.
Hands of frosted ice stroke my arms,
legs, breasts. My lips tingle
with astonishment. I never thought
it would feel so good, a delicious pain,
a coup de foudre. I feel free (he is right
about that), but not freed up to let him
chortle filthy words in my ear, shove
his fat tongue into my mouth,
grab my bottom with a big hot paw.
Next year he can take someone
else to the Ball!
I am free and floating. In love
with myself. I am wearing water
like a silk gown, a lover’s gift.
I swim away from the river bank, away.
Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher. Her poetry has featured in many magazines including New Welsh Review, Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Prole. Her latest collection My Grandmother Skating is published by Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016. Jennie founded and runs NewBohemians@CharltonKings providing regular events of poetry, performance and music at deepspaceworks art centre. She lives in Cheltenham.