The secret me is a boy.
He takes girlness off like a sealskin:
something that never sat right on his shoulders.
The secret me is broad-shouldered;
the sea can’t contain him,
the land can’t anchor his waves
to its sand.
The secret me swims
with the big fish, brash, he swaggers
like a mermaid, bares teeth
like daggers, barks at the moon when it’s thin.
He’s whiskered, that boy. Thick-skinned.
Quick-finned, always turning tail.
He wears his own skin like a sail,
lets it carry him to where
salt swallows mouthfuls of air.
Let them find me there by the shore:
the girl-seal with a secret
boy inside. Rough-voiced. Black-eyed.
as the beach by the tide.
Rachel Plummer is a recipient of the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Awards 2016 and a Troubadour prizewinner 2014. She has been widely published including in Mslexia, The Stinging Fly, 154 Anthology of Sonnets, the Poetry on the Move scheme and in her co-authored pamphlet, Char (Hidden Door Press, 2016). Her current project is a book of LGBT themed poems based on Scottish mythologies for LGBT Youth Scotland and Creative Scotland.