First published in September 2021

I remember
when I had
rounded elbows

and tomorrows
stretched yellow
beyond the walls

of our house
like a line
of washing

blowing in the sun

I dreamed of
adulthood when
books would voice

their wisdom
without brainscrews
of effort

on my part
I anticipated
adding my words

to those already in print

I used to wear
spotted dresses
(Shirley Temple style)

but hankered after
long-skirted frocks
like those

my mother had
for evenings
when she smelled different

and even buffed her nails

I wondered
what being grown-up
was like

I could have
told you
It’s loving

& dying
pretending & spending
screwing & screaming & daydreaming

all in a skin that doesn’t fit