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...
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
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.