Tiff’s got me against the school railings, doing 

my eyeliner. In double French, I’d whispered,  

Your eyes. Will you make mine like that? – slice  

through a room, a lie, a man – Break 

time her body on mine, stoosh then soft; sugar  

on the tongue of all she hasn’t done yet, all she’s  

heard she could do. Already, Tiff is a reckoning;  

bomb glitter on lids, oil spill on lips, sandwiches  

padding her bra. Yeah, the sandwiches.  

Thick, white, unbuttered. See, Tiff’s clocked  

the boys have clocked the difference between  

a tissue and a tit, a sock and a tit, but not quite yet  

a tit and a slice of bread. O, girl, you have  

opened my eyes, how they weep! 

from My Darling from the Lions (Picador, 2020/ Tin House, 2021), © Rachel Long 2020, used by permission of the author and the publishers

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Rachel Long is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, a ‘fiercely community-minded’ collective formed in direct ...