Sense of Selfie
She dollies herself acceptable:
pencil-edged lips won’t mumble,
awkwardness glossed over.
Pore-free skin won’t blush;
smooth as an enamel washbasin,
The magic wand elongates
a lie of lashes in on-trend purple.
no more tears.
Powder seals her in for the night.
Firm-hold hairspray, freeze
She duck-faces the camera,
posts to prove she is real.
He leans, his back to the pumps;
a casual elbow belying his care
to not blot into others’ spillages.
Watches her head bob,
a life buoy in the pub-tide;
if he could reach out
to clasp it.
For now, he holds timidity
under the waves of his next pint,
sluices his tongue to talk
like another man’s,
someone normal, approachable;
waits for it to be her round.
She’ll stand, head still bobbing,
squirm the crush to the bar,
effortless breaststroke –
under his arm and he’s lifesaving
her friends’ double vodka-cokes.
Hopes she’ll see him, washed
cleaner than he ever could be,
float him to safety.
The oven has cooled down now:
I hold a knife smeary with ganache;
it’s not overly sharp and this cake
I’ve made here in our kitchen
is not overly sweet. You had a bit
somewhere else this afternoon,
because you get so hungry.
Another time, wash your hands.
Holly Magill is a poet from Worcestershire. She has a BA in Creative Writing from University Of Birmingham and has had poems in various publications, including The Stare’s Nest, three drops from a cauldron and the expanded second edition of The Emma Press Anthology of Mildly Erotic Verse (The Emma Press, 2016). She is fond of cats and strong tea above most things.