they ask why i don’t wear makeup

 

copper sundays bleed concrete
stilettos
and a ten minute
pōhutukawa road

they hide
behind petroleum compliments
and leg-appreciating honks
no hate here
they cherish both uniform
and red church dresses

shame burns my chest

i have cactus eyes now

a calculated deafness no longer silences
and opprobrious admiration echoes

catcalling;
‘caterwauling
women
only’

the sign says

male ears shouldn’t have to listen

cradled lullabies choke
———-bruised words;
private school brotherhoods
wear ignorance like lynx

‘only desperate liars lie here’

don’t cry
wolf

whistle

i won’t
crying smudges eyeliner

 

Harriet Carter
Year 13
Northcote College