Testosterone’s the hormone of the devil and my son’s a shape-shifter – by Nikki Robson


The production line’s working overtime
and the surfaces of all our lives are zit-marked,
antler-rubbed. Bad son, good son,
he skinny-runs big-footed across the sky
in dark cloud, bright sun, dark cloud.

The bathroom ceiling’s peeling, flaking rites
of purification. Steam and deodorant
heavy the air, appease the gods.
Earphones hang like ancillary limbs,
snapchats of body parts dangle, disappear.

The bedroom’s forest floor
is ankle-deep. He argues autonomy,
is the only one of us who’s always
right, loudstomps to the shadows,
vanishes in deep bass.

He’ll later re-take human form –
or so it might seem, distorted
through the bottom of a glass.




Nikki Robson’s poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including Acumen, Under the Radar, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Lunar Poetry and Obsessed with Pipework. In 2015 she was awarded First Prize in the Elbow Room competition and Highly Commended in Wigtown and Carer’s UK.