excerpted from “Lipstick Thursday
by Jessie Nash
{from e-Issue #4}

“I’d rather be myself. Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.”
—Bernard Marx, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

people say
that things are changing,
because it’s 1965,
and my friend Derek,
this older guy I know,
he’s eighteen,
he said, people like you,
and I said
people like us you mean
and give him a sickly sweet grin,
and he looks a bit mean,
yeah, people like me
need to go where it’s happenin’,
the big cities,
and I joked around
and asked him what with
and how, and let’s go now,
and we planned it all out
about this bus journey
to New York,
or hitchhiking
and how we’d get some money
and all the boys and men
we’d meet
and how no one would beat us up,
beat me up,
because no one touches Derek
with their fists,
just my mouth and his girlfriend,
he’s such a respectable young man –
so respectable he liked me to wear lipstick,
the same shade as his girlfriend,
pale petal pink, stolen from the old drugstore,
and he put it on me
so sloppy in the woods,
painting me in the dark,
because there was nowhere else
nowhere light, nowhere for us.

. . .

Jessie Nash is a British writer and photographer. His fiction and poetry have appeared in many publications including Glitterwolf, Wilde, and Lunchticket. He is a fellow of the Lambda Literary Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. Jessie is a transman who identifies as queer.