Shaving in a Cold Barn

This poem won the University of Bolton Poetry Competition 2018.


But I could just as easily
move to town, labour under
you, adore you, pay my rent
to you and cheer when the new
bed is delivered, sit cross-legged
on the sofa and say long words
that sound like love, as you
bend over me in your briefs,
full up on rent and years
of systematic favouring.
Privilege never questions
where it is. You don’t see
the scratches on my radiator,
you just feel the warmth. O
and there’s fire everywhere
so you can take your clothes
off now.
I’ve run out of shaving
foam and the cold knife
is licking droplets on my jaw.