that come with papers. Cans of Coke and lager,
ringpulls popped. Ripped shreds of Rizla
and Gold Leaf. Filters. The unexpected light still on at home.
The walk through town on Friday night,
taxi rank queues swelled by rugby crowds.
The Metro station closed for renovation,
realisation coming far too late.
The walk to the Pink Triangle
to catch cabs at a less-attended rank.
The tent in the square by the Centre for Life:
the Ladyboys again.
The hunt through your bag for a hair tie.
Coming up short. The thought
of cis eyes gazing, cis mouths gawping
at the spectacle of colonised trans bodies.
‘You can hardly tell, can you?’
‘What does it mean if I fancy one?’
strike up conversation. Fear. The way
your steps got quicker, how you slipped
deliberately between the groups of smokers,
the two men pissing in the alleyway you switched down.
How you remembered you’d told him
which bar you were going to.
Your relief when you found it too crowded,
too renovated, not the dive it was,
a hotel bar without the benefit of bedrooms,
full of gaping wallets
and curated beards.
The way the ultraviolet light
lit up the cotton shielding your breasts
on the dancefloor. The adjustments
you made in the toilet.
‘I hate it when the credits end, and there is only silence.’