Below the Line and First Swim

by Bunny Cook

Below The Line

At night

when the sun

slips

below the line

the sky

splits

Wide stripes

cool blue

hot soft pink

and

shifting empty

White

Here

where the dunes

travel

where the salty

marsh creeks

Hide

At night

that night

at least

the trans flag

hangs here.

In the sky.

First Swim

It is cold, colder

My skin is white soft

Apart

Apart from the two stripes

Slash sew scar seal

I wear them warily

Open the door

Climb the stairs

It is cold

Today the towel is bundled

On my hip

I will not hide

The attendant is not here

The one I checked with

Is not here

I will not hide

Have permission

Step on. And out

Put the towel down

Ease myself in

I feel fine

Don’t twinge or wince

They don’t pucker, my stripes

I feel fine

I push off

The shorts breeze out. These shorts. These first time shorts

These brilliant beautiful £14 grabbed from reception baggy black shorts

Balloon

I hitch them up. We glide

It is cold. I feel fine


Bunny Cook (they/them) is a newly 50, non-binary trans actor living between North Norfolk and Central London. They have previously written a scene for a play performed in 2019, an online article for Hello! and a biographical account about gender identity and the menopause in Still Hot by Vicky Allan and Kaye Adams. They recently received a DYCP Arts Council grant for developing their writing practice as a queer person, particularly with a view of being based in non urban Norfolk.