Something to Show for It

By Luke Allan

The best time to take a shower with the lights off is forever.
Especially in the very early morning, before the stars
have gone in, with the snow on the mountain
faintly visible in the darkness through the crack in the window
where the steam piles out. You don’t have to leave the house
to see the world. Once my mum went into her bedroom
and took her own life. You never know what a person is going
to do next. It’s enough that you have the light from
the extractor hood to wash up in, and the space between the sofa
and the coffee table, where your knees go. Even the sound
of your downstairs neighbour singing in the afternoon
can be enough. It rises through the floorboards in the bedroom
and pulls you from the edge of sleep, returns you to your marriage,
to the heat trapped under the duvet. The body is, strictly speaking,
the only thing you can experience. It’s why I say snow to refer to
what is snowing in me. There is no mountain other than the one
that has been going on inside you the whole time.
It’s enough that you are allowed to lie naked next to her
on the bed, in as much darkness as the room can hold,
listening to the sound singing makes when it’s over.

Originally published by The Poetry Society (UK).