I don’t know what to get you
For your birthday, Simon.

9 is such a funny age to be. If you were ugly
I would let you read my 77 failed poems
About Patti Smith, but I think you are
Too beautiful for me to share my failures with.

Don’t get complacent about it, one day
You’ll be ugly and the change is like putting on
New sunglasses. I was beautiful for five years
In the 1990s. The world was like a fairground ride
In an independent film. I hardly ever felt cold.

You are tough, dark, vulnerable and moody,
But you probably know yourself pretty well:
I’ll give you money if you promise
To buy yourself something
That I wouldn’t understand.

This is a reprint of work originally published in The Cadaverine.

Rosie Jean Reynolds studied Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and guest lectured there on the Creative Writing MA and English Literature BA. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Stand, Magma, Under the Radar, The Cadaverine and SALT. She is currently working on her first collection. She blogs at

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