You Can Watch Me Undress

by Melissa Lee-Houghton

I used to wear pinstripes, with parrot-coloured love-beads.
I had no idea what I was trying to say or do.
Now clothes hang no better on me at thirty,
my hips being as ample as beach coves in holiday season.
In my wedding dress I had good breasts.
I had tight skin like the hide of a radish
and I wore silver round my neck like it was human flesh.
I was proud of my body once, its general audacity;
the way it made milk and conjured electricity;
the way it wanted and needed a body, not so much viral
as in your bones. In the nineties, febrile-high on ecstasy,
I used to take a bath as the sun came up and I came down,
alone, hot as shame, my pinstripe jacket stuck to the floor,
arms back, like a man pinned by his own misery.
What am I to do? I’m in a £4 dress with knickers
one size too big. I want to touch somebody. Right now.