Having just turned forty, she’s had enough;
her husband’s taken her out to celebrate – just the two of them.
She’s sucked into black skins, sleek as expectant seals
and underneath she can feel where the bathwater’s heat
has cut her skin.

She’s ordered Jalfrezi: chicken, extra-hot and spice-laden.
Later her husband will seduce her, peel off her skins
then rest his head.

But now she eats a seekh kebab and savours the tight-spiced lamb
disintegrating on her tongue. Meanwhile a chicken waits in the noise
from the manic kitchen. Unwrapped and counter-bound with legs apart
and a gap where an apple could fit.

Jenny Hope