Andrew McMillan



I’m wearing your underwear to the office
after a long fortnight of working
and not enough time to sort and wash
the stains that mark our progress through a day

I want to make a kink from this necessity
but don’t get how is it that undressing
later you’ll see something of yourself
on me and want it back? is it that I’ve taken

something without asking and this slight transgression
reframes me as a stranger? is it
something about simply feeling closer?
the rub of the other against the self

in their absence? I feel none of that
as I pull the boxers from a pile
where each identical pair smell of detergent
and are slightly too small for my body

which has spread through comfort since you moved in
but all day something of yours is hugging
close to the worst parts of myself less than
a year a go I could not have imagined
the possibility of something so wonderful


Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988. His debut collection, physical, was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award; it also won a Somerset Maugham Award, an Eric Gregory Award, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, and was shortlisted for numerous others including The Dylan Thomas Prize and the Costa Poetry Award. He lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and lives in Manchester.

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