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ignore me padre, 

i never said 

i wanted you,

just picked up a clementine 

and put my ear to damp patch,

as a factual act, God 

was born after me 

so there wasn’t a rule book 

until i was 10. 


you’re the unmen 

the unbearables 

with glass in your armpits 

that crushes into gems 

when you do the hoochy coo, 

your artery wine 

gushed into the river,

and you shoot soft girls 

with a window of wound

in your gape.


It is her day

in the waiting area

with a smudge on her nose,

she chooses her next 

helter or coaster,

not you.

not one for munching 

on scared man’s disease,

through tartar, she say

please, go way, Ro-may

O, never you tell this poor

chunk of pie

what to do.

Tessa Foley is a poet whose work explores feminism, sexuality and the rejection of normalcy. Her debut poetry collection ‘Chalet Between Thick Ears’ was published by Live Canon in 2018. She has been recognised in the Ware Poets Competition, Charroux Prize and Arts University Bournemouth Poetry Prize. Her new collection “What Sort of Bird are You?” was launched by Live Canon in May 2021. To discover more of her work, visit or follow her on Twitter: @unhelpable 

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