Written Poetry


The Smell of Girls

Mother smells like clean laundry.

Like garlic, and the washing up after.

Like her husband’s cologne, rubbed off on her sleeves.

Baking, another corporately manufactured scent to

mask the smells of Mama Lemon and Clorox.


You try to smell like something familiar

like milo powder under fingernails,

baby powder in hair.

You’ve got tiger balm

snaking from your hands to your head.


i inhale – i taste clean but not like laundry

clean like india pale ale and coca cola

like greasy unsalted french fries and sugary coffee

like flavoured condoms and sweat and rain


Boys think we are RC cars.

They stick in two double-A batteries and a little red light comes on over our heads,

pull us back and we come careening forward, something in our

suspension only ready to go because they touched us. Reactionary.

They love the hum we make when they manipulate the joystick,

loud enough for them to know we work, soft enough for them to

keep conversing while they coax us to continue going in circles.

The world is their toystore, and every week they return, amazed because

we come in so many colours and models!

They want to hold us while they sleep and show us to their friends. They want to

run their fingers across the paintwork, roll us across the classroom floor.

Unbox me, they think we say. Take me out, stick my socket into your bedroom wall.

Boys do not know much about cars.

my lips are excited

my lips are excited.

I can’t wait to have a mothball mouth.

I can’t wait for time to roll past my tonsils and into the deepest caves of my bronchitis.

I can’t wait for the day the corners of this closet have grown so rusty they no longer know they have hinges, no longer know how to close.


my lips are excited.

My mother never learned to hate me, and even now as I feel you loving me, she is at home baking bread.

She holds me in her arms sometimes, and I wonder if she can feel the tiny footsteps your fingers have left behind on my skin.

I wonder if your fingersteps feel different, and if she knows.


my lips are excited.

I’m bilingual, I think, even if my mother tongue only makes sense whispered against your pillowcase

I’m fluent, I think, even if my mother tongue consists of stuttering and stumbling and the slow, writhing motions of lips looking for words they never really learned

My whole body wants to dance.

Our Love was Dialectic

We fell in love precisely, made love wildly in the rain

But carefully.

We kissed with lips, the Suzuki method,

our thoughts never anachronistic.

“I dreamt of us having sex again,

it was the same crazy sex dream I’ve had every night since we met.”

Half-worn clothes concisely phrased at the feet of my


Setting: Bedroom, four post bed.

The diction of our love was meticulous –

I vocalize, you verbalize,

in harmony we dramatize

a love we’ve read too many times before

on someone else’s bedroom floor.

Your unstressed syllables collide with mine,

we squeeze into a sonnet.


I never held you in free verse,

never touched you in iambic pentameter.

I screwed you without assonance,

you fucked me without enjambment.

Fourteen lines and no climax.


We believe in star signs, lucky numbers,

superstition is so mathematical.

Our love was like a mobius ring.

In the moment of it all I did not think love could be impractical.