Rose Mary Boehm

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Artwork by Gene McCormick


No need to flay me. Want to scrub, scrub,
scrub… Lady Macbeth. I would love to slide
out of my skin. Underneath: newness, freshness, softness,
fit to grow with me; sloughing off the miscarriage,
molting old attachments into a spring of new buds,
dismissing my hate fuelled by drugs, consigning to oblivion
when they found my tumour and your hair turned white.

Artwork by Gene McCormick

Girl Talk
a found poem

My men expect so much of me. I can’t live up to it.
A girl’s virtue is less important than her hair-do. If the cover
doesn’t catch their eye they won’t bother to read
what’s inside. They’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss,
and fifty cents for your soul.
I was a child nobody wanted.
If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do
anything. Don’t expect men to build the world
you want, create it yourself. I could actually feel
my lack of talent, as if it were cheap clothes
I was wearing inside.
Sometimes I think it would be easier
to avoid old age, to die, young.


A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of Tangents, a poetry collection published in the UK in 2010/2011, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and print). She was twice winner of the Goodreads monthly poetry competition, a new poetry collection, From the Ruhr to Somewhere Near Dresden 1939-1949 : A Child’s Journey, has been published by Aldrich Press in May 2016, and another new collection, Peru Blues, is to be published by Kelsay Books in June.