She visits her nudity like a razor in a house of glass;
watch her slide a hand along her thigh, extinguish
a mass of hiding bubbles, let the silk of still water
warm her, her neck thrown back, her hair afloat.

In this moisture she is all things sweet and surfeit
to desire. Solitary, she creates a realm where
pleasure is primary. Degas once painted such a
woman in preparation to bathe–a silver tub, a gold

wood floor; there was no water yet, and she stood sole,
still owned by needs to ready and prepare. In my mind,
however, I have always lent her violets and the coming
future, the settling of limbs, the way that heat would fit

right to her bones, the chill of air over her hardening,
unsubmerged nipples, and the reverie in her imagining
a lover’s lips upon them, because they are wet and
pronounced, ready to be lathed by tongues as she lounges

in the place where her fantasy is succulent and the water
serves to cradle her, the softest, most needless thing she’s
ever known, that embryonic place where she has gained relief
without cost, and in it, revels, making love to her soul’s self.

TAGS: , , ,

HEATHER FOWLER received her M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University in May of 1997.   She has taught composition, literature, and writing-related courses at UCSD, California State University at Stanislaus, and Modesto Junior College.  

Her poetry has recently appeared at riverbabble(June 2010); The Nervous Breakdown(May 2010); The San Diego Poetry Annual (April 2010); poeticdiversity (December 2009);The Medulla Review (Fall 2009); INTHEFRAY (February 2007), Empowerment4Women.com (November 2007), and been selected for a joint first place in the 2007 Faringdon Online Poetry Competition (October 2007) , as well as published in various venues including: the Map of Austin Poetry, The Coast Highway Review, the Driftwood Highway 1999 Anthology, Joe's Journal, Best of the Beach 1998, The Publication, and the Cityworks Literary Anthology, Volume 6. She is Poetry Editor at Corium Magazine.  

Her fiction has recently appeared at the following journals and anthologies: Necessary Fiction (January 18, 2011); JMWW (Winter 2011); Wrong Tree Review (January 2011);The Northville Review (December 2010); Ducts (Issue 26, Winter 2011); Prick of the Spindle (Issue 4.3, Fall 2010); Up the Staircase (Spring 2010); Dark Sky Magazine (Featuring Mel Bosworth reading her micro-fiction on video, May 2010); Necessary Fiction (April 2010); Portland Review (Issue 56, Volume 3, Winter/Spring 2010); Back in 5 Minutes ~ an expression of depression (print, volume 1. Little Episodes, London. February 2010, UK.) ; the stark electric space…an international anthology of indie writers (print, Graffiti Kolkata, India. Winter 2010); The Big Toe Review (Winter 2010); BlazeVOX (2k9, Fall 2009); Emprise Review (Volume 11, November 2009); Surreal South 09( print, Press 53, November 2009); DOGZPLOT (Fall 2009); decomP (August 2009); JMWW (print anth. Spring 2010, web Summer 2009); Etchings (7, ilura press, July 2009); PANK Magazine(4.6, June 2009); Night Train (Issue 9.1, Spring 2009); The Abacot Journal (Spring 2009);Underground Voices (November 2008); A Cappella Zoo (Print: October 2008, Volume I, Online Reprint June 2009). KeyHole (August 2008); Trespass (August/September 2008, UK); SubLit (August 2008); Coming Together: With Pride (Phaze, 2008, e-book and print);Word Riot (May 2008);  Storyglossia #28 (May 2008); Cityworks 2008 (May 2008);DOGZPLOT FLASH FICTION (2008, online and print); Temenos (Fall 2007)Mississippi Review online (October 2007); See You Next Tuesday (2006);and  Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry (Winter 2006)the muse apprentice guild (October 2002), artisan, a journal of craft (September 2002), Literary PotPourri (May 2002), Exquisite Corpse (Summer 2001), The Barcelona Review (May, 2001), Quercus Review (May, 2001), Penumbra (May 2001), B & A New Fiction (Jan. 2001), Barbaric Yawp (Dec. 2000), Zoetrope All-Story Extra (June 2001October and December 1999). She worked as a Guest Editor for Zoetrope All-Story Extra in March and April of 2000. Her story "Slut" won third prize at the 2000 California Writer's Conference in Monterey.

14 responses to “A Woman in Her Bath”

  1. Simon Smithson says:

    Welcome to TNB, Heather! Wow, what a piece – so much colour and movement here!

  2. Zara Potts says:

    Simply gorgeous.

  3. Thanks so much, Simon and Zara! 🙂 I love it here. xo, Heather

  4. YAY!!!! Hi Heather, it’s so great to see your gorgeous face in these hall. And I get to read your vivid work. It’s like the best day EVER!

  5. No way, Megan! It’s like the best DAY EVER because I get to see you here, too, my friend! 🙂 Thanks for popping by. XO!

  6. Beautiful poem Heather! And so good to see you here on TNB.

  7. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Fount of scintillating tone, tour-de-force of sensuality. I think my favorite bit is:

    “In this moisture she is all things sweet and surfeit
    to desire.”

    Though I can’t pass without remarking on the naked (thus to speak) indulgence of

    “…ready to be lathed by tongues as she lounges
    in the place where her fantasy is succulent…”

    I’m hoping one day to see in actual texture the Degas adaptation that inspired this.

  8. Jessica! Hello, beautiful and talented lady! Thanks for stopping by. So glad to be here!

    Uche, many, many thanks! Your poetry is quite lovely and sensual, too! And of course you are welcome to drop by my house any day you are in town. I’ll even make you a latte! 🙂

    All warmest to both,
    H

  9. Judy Prince says:

    A way sexy poem, Heather! I especially like the startling, “sharp” and smooth image in the first stanza’s stunning (first 2 lines) simile.

    Welcome aboard TNB!

  10. Thanks so much, Judy! 🙂

    All warmest,
    H

  11. Erika Rae says:

    This poem caresses my soul with sexy. SO fantastic to see you here, Heather. What an inspired and smart writer you are! I feel privileged to have gotten to meet you live and in the flesh.

    • Erica, anything that carresses your soul with SEXY is an added feat of glory! *delighted smile* Many thanks for your compliments on the work. It was a joy and a pleasure to meet you in Denver! Wishing you a fabulous 2010 and beyond.

      All warmest and best regards, xo! H

  12. Aaron Dietz says:

    Wonderful poem with gorgeous sounds!

    Oh my–I love all those “L” sounds in the second stanza.

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