Out by Rosemary Appleton


Poetry by Rosemary Appleton




     On catching the bus days, when the swish of my skirt gets caught 


on a passenger’s book bag and he looks up – makes that stark, open assessment 


I never look away – let him drink in my preparations – the powdered, patted


smoothness of my cheek – ready as a pillow for his drowsy fears 

      Or on the strap-hanger days, my triceps flexed in my bare arms, 


a mermaid in the subway’s sea of pinstripe, sleep dust still 


gritting the corners of their reddened eyes, I dip my chin as he stares, 


look back unblinking into his eyes and see how he is wondering, 


dreaming, thinking of bringing the back of his hand to my face

Rosemary is a gay writer, based in East Anglia and fuelled by coffee. She has twice been a winner of the Oxford Radcliffe Library Poetry Prize and her work has appeared in Mslexia, The Fenland Reed, Black Bough Poems, The Wellington Street Journal and elsewhere. Her poems are anthologised by Dunlin Press, PaperSwans, and Fairacre Press.

18 November 2020