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bangable dudes in history

we collected together all of the scientists and historians & i said
okay, how about him.
he was a murderer – but it’s
a photograph. sun in
his eyes. how many decades since
he tried it on?
we tried it on,

 

did we? we wouldn’t do it, she said
& we took lifts from vans
on longwall street, pulled our tights up
from the waist, snacked outside libraries –
we needed headrushes
to break our reading.

 

we salute you from new college’s slippery mound
where we climbed to escape the tourists
& their guidebooks, laughing
at their own hands. we salute you
& your endeavours
noli me tangere, i am flying
i am flayed today – there are exams
& it is a good rotten apple summer, i think we bit away
the shade.

 

i spent so long reading reprinted old books that when i read
the new ones you told me about they said
oxford’s problem is all the women

 

who won’t fuck you – i thought
that’s interesting. baby, did i make you sick?
the minstrels strummed
& we thumbed back through the pages – margins full of us.
this one’s about anne boleyn & this one
is about wild game. the rhyme – it’s so quiet.
noli me tangere, is it my right
to say that? i didn’t like my legs
but didn’t know what to wear
in case you saw them

 

& we spent lunches stuck on dead princes’ faces.
this is not what you’re like.
you only want to sing
about how much you love us anyway.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is an editor at The Emma Press, where she works with poetry and translated children’s literature. Her poetry has previously been published by Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Strange Horizons and Clinic. She lives in London.

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