top of page

Selkie in my glass

Beth Morrow

There’s a selkie in my glass. Pools of milky bubbles,

ashy purple grit around the rim,

a chipped wineglass that sways between drunk fingers—

glistens between neon lights and your beery-leer.

She blinks up between reflections, puddles. I like to stick her

between the gap in my front teeth, let her watch the conversation.

Suppose you love her? You take her coat, don’t you? Just to hang dry

nothing deceitful-like, just warm, toasted, crisped by the fire. Let the sealskin


grey fur all glisten. Did you spit? sweat? is that sea-salty-brine pooling on the floor?

            Prod her as your tongue does mine—

            flames to lick. Suck. Entice. Divide.

Suppose you love her too much, keep her coat by the door—no no on the floor—

in the attic, by the rat shit and the Christmas crap. Gather dust. Why don’t you—

fine, lock it up, sell it on eBay to the highest bidder—let me stitch the rips first, babe—


mend sealskin scars, felt fur into the gaps with my needle, lie in it just for a night,

before we package it—fine, you package it then—go on, post it with that return,

those too-small jeans and that letter to Nan and the cheque for Danny’s birthday.

There’s a selkie in my glass. Pools between the oat milk, white fishies split in tea.

I keep her in the fridge sometimes, keep her in amongst the posh cheeses. Preserved.

Blow her kisses, eye her up in her glass bowl. She’s made of sea shells

            seaweed fibres

            holds my heart between fins of flesh and bone.

I found it in the toilet, once, all red and sloshy and ready to flush out to sea,

blood pumping, veins thrusting. Lobster-food, mollusc-meal.

You squeeze the arteries, sometimes. I find it all muddled up in the cupboard

where we agreed we’d keep spices—the one where you told me we could—


a baking cupboard, maybe? When you turned a new leaf,

            said you’d make pumpkin bread and cinnamon buns and


between the blinks of dawn sun, hot shots through the blinds—

sometimes you’d bring me coffee. Forehead kiss. I awoke to warmth

            for that brief window of time.

Did you like her like this? Do you like her better now? All glossy on the shelf, porcelain,

crushed glass, sand. Do you prefer her in the stew? In between boiled potatoes

and swimming carrots. I tip her into your breakfast cereal, watch her fold and froth

between the milk and the flakes like a rubber duckie. When I’m in the bath

            I like to find her between my belly folds

            and the hairs of my toes and

under the creases of my breasts. I like to watch her drown. Find her sealskin

sewn into shoes, ones you walk past on the street, ones you admire from a distance.

Imagine following her out to sea. I keep her in my pocket until that beach day

when you laugh at my bikini. I ensure she folds between the waves, bubbles

into the black watery depths. I let my head down under with her, unable to breathe

with her, sealskin cloak somewhere long gone—are you still with her?

Do you still think of her, floating, bobbing, somewhere out at sea,

her coat long cut up and punctured and stitched into someone else.

Beth Morrow lives on the coast of Loch Fyne and has received various awards for her writing including being Shortlisted for the UK Emerging Writer Award. Her work has appeared in places such as Gutter, Porridge Magazine, and Edda Journal. She is currently writing her debut short story collection.

bottom of page