Sign In using your Campus Account

‘His Bottom Lip’

Clitoral, like finding a small, hidden part
of myself in someone else.
Nerve-wet, fleshy
– for a white guy, and stained
between life-lines with red wine
gone black.
Only this I point
with sharpest teeth.
He weighs this up. Eyes roll
over what this means,
how and where it can lead, all the things
it limits.  I think this is his first time
knowing what it is to be betrayed
by a part of his own body.
No other part? He starts, Not even –
Be strict. Only this.

Originally published in The London Magazine, 2015. Reproduced with the permission of Rachel Long. 

Rachel Long was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014. Her poems have been published in a number of anthologies and magazines. She was selected for the Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship Scheme (2015-16), and has curated literary events for Deptford Cinema, Clear Lines Festival and Tate Britain. She is Assistant Tutor on the Barbican Young Poets programme and leads Octavia, Poetry Workshops for Women of Colour. 

Rachel will be performing on Saturday 4 November at a Poetry School curated event at Poetry in Aldeburgh 2017, alongside Raymond Antrobus & Keith Jarrett. For more information and tickets, visit

Add your Reply

Image Credits:

Photo credit: Paul Everett. A filter has been placed over this image. License.