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Eggshells

I've been asked, by people following my blog, to include the poems I read on my recent poetry tour, so I'm putting them on here, then will be providing links back here from the blog. Hence...

Eggshells

 

You tell me you have to walk on eggshells

and I wonder what eggshells you mean.

Is it the fact you can’t call me a fag

because the same blood flows in both our veins?

 

Is it that you can’t say how much

I disappoint your sense of your own manhood

when I paint my nails and talk

like I’m a girl?

 

Is it the thought that all the other men

laugh at you behind your scrum-half’s back,

snickering if I’m the best you managed

there must be something wrong with you as well?

 

Let me tell you something:

I wake up each morning wishing

for a love that I can’t have

in this hair-armoured skin,

 

your poison-gift to me; this body

which I cannot move to music

as I want to, because I fear fingers

which might, first, just point and laugh,

 

but later curl into ‘corrective’ fists;

because when I sit on the bus,

knees together, hands in lap,

I keep my eyes from making contact,

 

scared of being dragged into the aisle

and kicked to death by boys who’ve never

doubted that a boy is what they are,

while the passengers look on.

 

And the one thing that would make

that trip home worth it, the strong

hands of a tough and boylike girl

enclosing mine, and giving me a place

 

where I can yield in ways

that your man’s world won’t let me,

making me feel safe enough

to let my body

 

tumble

without fear

into

joy

 

is just a fantasy that I spin to myself

in my failed husband’s bed, a boy again,

trapped in this house

where every move is policed.

 

And you tell me

you’re the one

who walks on eggshells.

◄ Tension

A Short Course in Suicide Writing ►

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