by Mary Gilonne

Four flights up, a party smokehouse
fleshed out with cans and Quant,
my thighed ride on his scooter
that back a purple velvet want,
we lounged by paisley curtains
ate chips and drank warm beer,
I was supposed to be at Chris’s
if mum had known that I was there
feeling life about to happen
like a raspberry ripple thrill,
and his eyes jean-blue smile-crinkly
as if he couldn’t iron out
how I acted like a woman
yet was full of stuttered doubt,
sank me down to sanded floorboards
in a sea of boots and heels
while Procol Harum whitened
each paling shade of feel,
his twenty year old kissing
was more than four of mine
and I sicked up on his jacket
with fear and lust and time.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The carefree days of Exmouth Grammar School (1967).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Gilonne is a translator, originally from Devon but living in France for many years. She won the 2015 Wenlock Prize, has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and commended in the Prole and Caterpillar Prizes. Published in Emma Press, Snakeskin, Clear Poetry and other anthologies and webzines , she is hopefully working towards a first collection.