Red Kite

Mrs. Hooping helped with my coursework
since Mr. Smith lived on pizza boxes.
Found rocking a dead pigeon on the cardboard,
now he’s back at his mum’s, auditioning
to be a postman. Witnessed a Red Kite
in my underwear drawer from our
session in the woods. Someone took a feather
to the hairdressers. Gum cross-sectioned
my cheek; he forgot about removal to kiss.
Had to avoid tree roots, placed us on green.
He mentioned his bullied niece kept reaching
for her blanket; Mr. Smith is quaking regression,
so I wait. His mum, an unhappy housewife,
adored cooking arancini. He tried to find one,
but they prioritised mortgages
over deer jokes. Smuggled the Red Kite out
with an Anne Tyler book (my train for transition).
Disposed it with my chocolates after the bus home.
Wrote ‘Red kite’ on the same coursework
until it resembled notes. Mr. Smith’s leaning
in for a blanket, teeth like washing machines.
I revise his chapter, ‘dreams in which I’m dying,’
where I counsel him best, always fishing in my bag.



Marianne is a queer poet from Peterborough, living in London. She’s Barbican Young Poet (23 & 24) and founder of ‘Thoughtcast Collective,’ and was highly commended in the Outspoken Page Poetry Prize, she has upcoming anthology publications with Flipped Eye.