For the boy playing with silk scarves at 2:25am

here’s something to wear
to cover over the head and the ears
for those who come up to you
with questions that sound like threats

here’s something to wear
if you’ve ever needed
to hide the throbbing
of your temples after the surge
of the homophobe who’s not hating
just playing devil’s advocate

here’s something to wear
around the neck or under a shirt collar
a queer alternative to a tie
if you want to look like anarchy
while downing whiskey with a group of boys
flexing silver chains the size of biceps


Troy Cabida (he/him) is a Filipino poet from south-west London. His debut pamphlet, War Dove, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2020. He currently works as a Library Assistant for the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre.