Holly Magill – three poems

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,
no cracks.

The magic wand elongates
a lie of lashes in on-trend purple.
Waterproof insurance,
no more tears.

Powder seals her in for the night.
Firm-hold hairspray, freeze
and shine.

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.

Eating Out

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.

2 thoughts on “Holly Magill – three poems

  1. Sarah J Bryson March 19, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    Lovely trio. Love the last line of the third poem especially.


  2. Polly March 21, 2016 / 8:12 am

    Urban poetry, social comment, always something surprising, something that makes one think, in Holly’s work.


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