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21st century poetry Mills and Boon

by Jenny Mitchell

                           after Paul Stephenson


Her first love / success / mistake
hugs so close / tight / suffocates
whispers steadily / instructs / intimidates
strokes soft skin / slaps / aims a cuff
says never leave / you can’t / you’re mine

They’re in his flat / hovel / den
the photo of another woman / friend / slag
lies torn on his bed / magic carpet / torture rack
where he’ll soon whisper / badger / cajole
tell this girl she is the one / he wants / for now

She melts in his arms / surrenders / submits
just sixteen years old / legal / ripe
has read about love / belonging / acceptance
so the next time he hits / attacks / corrects
she’ll blame herself / today / and / always


Jenny Mitchell’s second collection, Map of a Plantation, is published by Indigo Dreams. 21st-century Poetry is edited by Andy Croft, email


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