a collection of the submissions from
An Anthology of Joy

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your back is an umbrella
a shield from the warm shower.
passionfruit scented petrichor 
spews from the open mouths
of half-empty gel bottles,
twisting into a pall that presses
into our shimmering physiques.
the dirt on you dies with each scrub  of my soapy hands.

even with vision clouded with mist,  i see the strands of darkened hair
sticking to your forehead.
we wear coats made out of cling film and cling to each other like 
lovers in a movie
marked with tragedy.

you turn around and a torrent slips
past your shoulders, drenching
my face. i splutter, reach out, blindly grabbing at your waist to steady myself.  we are laughing and flailing –
a slippery spectacular shining 
in this steamy space like stars.

my hands form a crescent that shifts down my face to soothe stinging eyes. i step on your foot by accident –

you either don’t mind or don’t want lather leaking between your lips. shampoo shackles one eye shut, my mouth pulled 
northeast as my left eye peeks

out into the storm we have trapped in this tub;  it finds the lighthouse of your body looming  over me. you laugh when you say

i look like a pirate. 
as i burst out laughing too,
i think, god,

i would walk the plank for you.

Jay Mitra