Straight white men

– you said – avoid me.

I blinked, not to make a point but because

my contacts were pinging their dryness.

I said they don’t, you just don’t (and here

I drew quote marks by my ears)

“put yourself out there” – you’re shy

Your mouth showed mistrust.

I thought of Penzance,

when we surfed out to swim

with that shark

After, by the car,

your face glossing with ocean,

we paused

to saltily kiss

you me to buoy

the carnival mood

me you


I loved you


By Leaf Arbuthnot 

Leaf Arbuthnot is a poet from the UK, currently studying at Yale as a fellow in the French Department. She did French and Italian at Cambridge University where she spent a lot of time writing haikus and editing her college’s arts magazine. She is a cartoonist for the Yale Daily News and regularly publishes her drawings and poetry on her culture website,


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