In the shower with Gerard Manley Hopkins

Bless me father for I have sinned again
Rejoice in soapy foam-fleece fountain furled
For I have lied and cursed and fucked with men
Flashing quenching sing-shower curtain-curled
In hurting self and friend have careless been
Water of world of self-dew flesh-dew whirled
I wish to be blessed with some peace amen
With shower shining all sin stanched and swirled

Teach me the secrets of your skin so fine
Fresh-fire flashes off face fling soft and sing
The healing balms that help the hair to shine
Thirst quails parches quelled in the steam-sweet spring
I’ll wash your bruisèd back if you wash mine
Wet wind-washed lovescape manshape rinse and wring



Jo Bratten is a writer and teacher. Originally from the USA, where she grew up off-grid on a farm in eastern Ohio, she completed a PhD on the modern novel at the University of St Andrews before settling in London. Her poetry has been published in Acumen, Ambit and Fire.