A Victorian bedsit in London,

the three of us undress

as the gas geyser dribbles

hot water into an oversized bath

big enough to wash in.

 

We rearrange the armchairs,

the two single beds

with the pink candlewick spreads,

the TV, the record player,

put five shillings into the electric metre

and take the Bakelite phone

off the hook.

 

Underwear and light garments

flutter on the clothes horse

by the wall heater.

Our bodies sink into bubble bath

washing away the discrepancies

of Saturday night.

 

We take turns, wrap each other

in warm towels,

brush hair,

tease the tattles of past hurts

from blonde, black and red locks,

 

laugh about the night before.

The Bierkeller, dancing on the table,

going off with boys,

missing the last tube home,

ending up in St. James's Park.

 

For now we are safe,

my nurse's uniform ironed,

my turn to sleep on the floor.