by Colette Sensier

She wore silk for him, chiffon velvet satin, skirts

fluttering like pastel butterflies around her ankles. She brushed her hair

with a soft wooden-handled brush, one hundred strokes every night and

morning, and lay after baths

in the empty tub, surveying her body, smoothing coconut scented moisturiser

over fluent limbs

and torso. Took to smiling at odd moments, made herself

up every day, cheeks lips eyes, and she blotted

the lipstick with tissue paper, bold

Warhol pouts left on the tissue. She listened to music with high

swooping notes,

and no drumbeat, and she found a love for the back of her neck, the curve

of it, the delicacy and the downy


hairs smooth down the length of it. Descended the stairs with her head up and

one hand on the bannister, like Scarlett O’Hara,

and considered playing the cello, imagining curved wood

between her thighs, taut horsehair making

dignified mellow notes. Slept fractured sleep, threw off her duvet and slipped


between the sheets instead, noticed the heat more, stole glances at herself

in mirrors, shop windows, TV screens. She floated in a blown-glass bubble

six inches from the ground, she loved the texture

of painted walls and the tangy smell

of oranges. When she sipped pale champagne with him, her eyes over the glass were

wide and inquiring. She was a softer person than before, also sharper. She licked at

ice cream with a pointed pink tongue.