Poetry No. 57 – Robin Gow

Morning Makeup Routine: Ursula

But they dote, and swoon, and fawn
on a lady who’s withdrawn.


What do you think I do?
No, I wake up like this.

I sleep in my makeup.
I breathe only through red lips.

The eyeshadow is a color
stolen from water, my own personal blue.

Some women have routines
and other women have lives.

Some women are dainty
and learn how to cry underwater.

Others, learn their bodies
are impossible to hide.

The mistake was thinking
you could thin yourself

into a muse.
In the morning

I wake my eels and tell them
my dreams. I say

I want a woman
to wake up next to.

I want a wig that doesn’t
come loose.  

I want a morning that opens
lightly like a slit

in a black dress.


Robin Gow is a trans poet and young adult author. They are the author of Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook Honeysuckle (Finishing Line Press 2019). Gow’s poetry has recently been published in Poetry, Washington Square Review, and the Atlanta Review.

© Robin Gow

Photo Credit:  © Andrii / Adobe Stock