From my water-soluble paint kit,
I apply red to my lips, black to my eyebrows,
a burnt-out matchstick for eyeliner.
Sex is not something I know about,
but I feel the need for enhancement.
Mother likes my face just washed,
Father wants to lock me up at the slightest
hint that his little girl is going
to be a woman.
I walk past the corner shop
and under the sycamores
towards the tram. A little boy
points at me and looks up
at his mother. She shakes her head
in profound disapproval.
Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her fourth poetry collection, The Rain Girl, was published by Chaffinch Press in 2020. Website: https://www.rose-mary-boehm-poet.com/