The new teacher takes me out:
orchestra, revolving restaurant, lesbian bar.
I burn my leg on the exhaust of her bike.
Next she comes around with a bottle of gin
and her admiration for Olivia Newton John.
Mortified, I let her do as she pleases.
When she moves in with me and my boyfriend, an alcoholic poet,
I develop a fever like Villette (which I haven’t read yet).
On the bus to school she cries about other girls,
jobs she has had to leave in a hurry.
She shows me their bewildered letters, I disassociate.
When I stop having sex with her
she calls me a bourgeois bitch and joins a gun club.
In 2009 I wrote of Pet by Kate Lilley (1960-) ‘…we have something nostalgic yet immediate, loving yet bitter. In a resurrection of ‘confessional verse’ this should be an example to follow: publicly heartfelt yet private without hysteria.’ This of course still holds. Ladylike (2012) is Kate’s second volume of poetry, following on from Versary (2002). She is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Sydney.