Kathryn O’Driscoll

When he put his hands on me
I withered to the root; a weed. Released my toxins,
almost dead;
something rotted in the seed.

You kissed me once in spring-time, your mouth black
with aniseed;
it reminded me of the flowerbed
where he’d put his hands on me.

And though when I frost bit us down to bud-nubs
and begged “Stop!”, you agreed; I still can’t help but
hate that
‘Something Rotten’ in the seed.

You stop like you’re supposed to, but we still bleed
sunset red.
I don’t know how to excavate the rank and rusted from
where he puts his hands on me.

I’m down-trodded on, I’m wilted
and I can’t bloom the way you need, because
when he put his hands on me
something rotted in the seed.

Kathryn O’Driscoll is a spoken word poet, writer and activist from Bath, England. She talks openly about disabilities, mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues and joys and gender politics in her wide range of poems. Aside from performing poetry across the South West; she’s also a Bristol slam champion who has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, at multiple UK National competitions and on BBC Radio Bristol. She has a first class degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.