A request from a friend


Boys expect blowjobs but give lousy head
Don’t clean their teeth enough, and leave your skin
Feeling sand-papered from their bristly face
Talk of old girlfriends, who are not like you
Are gentle, do not have stone for a heart
They think that you have given up on love.

And girls want sex, want you to call it love
play silly school girl games inside your head
Fuck all your friends, talk of their broken heart
They leave sly bite-marks up and down your skin
And if they get the clap blame it on you
walk up to you in bars and slap your face

You sit on Friday nights, tears down your face
are streaming, swear you will give up on love
Or rather that it’s given up on you
It’s like there was a fever in your head
That’s broken, and the flush was on your skin
So pale now. And the beating of your heart

Is regular. You had a broken heart
but now don’t feel a thing. Daily you face
Much bigger problems. Better that your skin
Be iron-clad against the harm that love
has done to you. It’s better that your head
be free of all the junk love’s brought to you

– for none of them were good enough for you
Wasted your time and trifled with your heart
Revenge is best. Sit writing in your head
Sharp lines that one day you’ll say to their face
of how they damaged you and called it love
tore out your heart and stripped you of your skin.

And yet, when someone’s eyelash strokes your skin
someone self-centred only thinks of you
remember what it’s like to be in love
excitement, tingling, tremors in your heart
knowing someone feels joy to see your face
Old poems bounce about inside your head

Love is a touch on skin, sweet ache in heart
gifts posted to you, kisses on your face
You’ve missed love, now it turns your heart and head.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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3 Responses to A request from a friend

  1. snaky_poet says:

    That’s a wonderful sestina! Even though I know the form quite well, I sort of forgot about it; every word seemed natural and right. I like the way you give both the boys’ and girls’ point of view at the outset. I think you’ve caught the thinking beautifully. And by the end, you almost — almost — made me want to experience teenage in-loveness again!

  2. cmcmck says:

    I’m amazed you had the energy on Saturday. My brain was still full of bronze artefacts!

    It was good to see you even if only briefly. :o)

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