Lindsay Street Bathroom
I bought the house for the sole purpose
of seeing the moon at a certain angle
through the high bathroom window,
and because there were peace lilies in planters above the bath
and because the bath was duck-egg blue.
In that bathroom I brushed my son’s teeth
(1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5)
moving around the way his mouth was made.
Later we sent him to a school where
teeth were an obsession.
The impulse-buy dog slept in that room at night.
When I visited her there she looked at me balefully
and I realised she was a woman like me,
a woman-dog with crappy days and ecstatic days
and bored days.
In that room, too, I did a little private dance.
It was to do with the moon, the plants, the
duck-egg blue bath, my son’s teeth, the dog.
Once a guest sitting just outside that room
announced that it was breathing.
Everyone was a little drunk, including me, and laughed, but my laugh was an uneasy one
because it came from the dog-woman,
who was not having a good day.
The secret dance also heard that laugh.
She slid down the wall,
sat next to the absent dog,
wrapped her arms round her legs,
lay down her head and closed her eyes
Lucy Dougan’s books include Memory Shell (5 Islands Press), White Clay (Giramondo), Meanderthals (Web del Sol) and The Guardians (Giramondo) which won the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for poetry. With Tim Dolin, she is co-editor of The Collected Poems of Fay Zwicky (UWAP, 2017).