by Anna Kahn
I do not hesitate so much when approaching strange
women. I do not touch any drink which has the word
watermelon on the label but contains no watermelon, or
make it out of bed for three days. I do not underestimate
hangovers, or swallow persimmon seeds. I do not ask
forgiveness. I do not worry about my hips. I do not screw
up my nail varnish catching it still wet on the wall, talking
with my fingers. I do not let strange women tuck flowers –
– no, I will not pretend you are a stranger. I do not throw my phone
at the wall. I do not have a stomachful of persimmon seeds I can’t
digest or a savings account with the RBS or a bicycle. I do not wear
anyone else’s old hoodies, anyone else’s bracelets, anyone else’s
knee high socks. I do not fear estrangement. I do not attempt your middle name –
– not even when I have been drinking, not even with a flower
tucked behind my ear. I do not panic when approached by strange women.
I do not hesitate to call myself a feminist. I do not answer my phone.
I do not throw persimmons at the wall. I do not remember the backs of your
knees properly. I do not ask forgiveness or pretend that you are not
a strange woman. I do not answer my phone. I do not answer my phone.
I do not ask forgiveness. I do not contain myself. I do not answer my
phone. I do not make it out of bed for three days. I do not throw myself
at the wall. I do not pretend you are not a stranger. I do not ask forgiveness.
Anna Kahn | @
Anna Kahn is a corporate copyeditor and one of the 2015–16 Barbican Young Poets. She lives with three cats and one human. She’s performed all over England and her poetry has been published in print and online, most recently on Blue of Noon and in the forthcoming Lunar Poetry.