The Archimedes Principle and the red cement floor (Rachael Mead)

Bathtub 1





You promised it wouldn’t happen again and this time
there weren’t enough towels to deal with the physics.
Fill. Overflow. The mechanics of weight and volume collide
and here I am on my knees again, just like every ancestress
since roofs mastered the alchemy of turning earth into floor.

Your displacement ripples away from my toweled hands,
red cement and water congeal into blood, the way
everything I think I know turns out to be an example
of something else. As you remind me, I’m clearly
not deconstructed enough, still dwelling back there

at the dawn of punctuation, struggling to deal with
flow, overflow and not really caring about the direction
of swirl so long as gravity resolves to keep pulling down.
The drain mangles its pronunciation while the red cement
just lies there, inert, but gleaming like a carnivore’s tongue.

Rachael Mead has had poetry published in Tincture Journal along with various other poems in literary journals in Australia, the US, Taiwan and Ireland. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize and her collection, The Sixth Creek, was published by Picaro Press.