Slam book cover
Created: 1st October, 2021

The guy my parents want me to marry asks me to describe myself


Family Feelings




Alliteration Imagery Rhyme Rhythm


Years 9 and 10

The guy my parents want me to marry asked me to describe myself by Nikita Gill


Look, I’m a commitment-phobe.

And this isn’t my fault.

This is because people are generally crap.

Too many lovers who have insisted

they loved me have left the hot water

running too long in my house

and not cared about the planet

the very specific way I do or voted Tory

or told me my aloo gobi isn’t great

(and I’ll have you know

it’s bloody brilliant)

or not cared for red wine and –

sorry, what I’m trying to say is don’t worry.

I’m not due to fall in love till 2024 anyway,

my tarot cards told me so.

I mean, if you believe in that kind of thing.

I mean, it’s not wild that I check

my horoscope every morning is it?

Or that I know I’m a Gemini sun,

Aries moon, Capricorn rising?

And if the day is going to be

bad for any of those three signs,

I carry red jasper in my right pocket

for anxiety and an amethyst in my bra

to dispel bad luck.


None of this is weird.

I know because my tarot cards told me so.

But really, the best way to get to know me

is not to read the poetry.

Don’t follow me on Instagram.

And for god’s sake

definitely don’t visit my twitter.

You see, women like me,

we are made from a different kind of mud.

We watched our mothers wear silence

instead of mouths for so long,

followed religions that told them

that women are always smaller

than the men in their lives,

we didn’t have a choice but to grow these repressed voices into howls in our bellies,

let them swell and tumble out as jagged opinions.


We built skyscrapers instead of castles,

read Audre Lorde instead of William Wordsworth,

Bell Hooks instead of Mahatma Gandhi, sharpened our own bones into knife points

just in case we needed to weaponise our bodies and… and it doesn’t stop there.

You see, those are the better parts.

You see, hiding pain as courage

is what all good wolves do.

I have named harsh hands home.

I have stumbled after women

who could not decide

if I was an experiment or a forever.


I have been a scarlet woman for so long.

I cannot even remember his name.

Just the red letter he left on my mind.

You need a cast iron stomach to digest me.

Which is to say that I don’t think

there is anyone in this world

who can survive me.

Which is to say:

sometimes you need to leave

wild things just the way

you found them. 



© Nikita Gill, from SLAM! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This, chosen by Nikita Gill, Macmillan, 2020


Nikita Gill - The guy my parents want me to marry asks me to describe myself