Charlotte Appleby



Mr. Wrong

Can’t wear the red velvet skirt I love
the hem won’t cover bruised knees,
can’t talk—shouldn’t talk—to family
don’t need them asking me again
‘why don’t you just leave?’

If the roast isn’t on the table at five
o’clock sharp, then he’ll finish work,
cheeks flared and shout ‘bastard woman!’
I’ll apologise, clasp at his shirt, eyes-closed.

Look—the forgotten laundry pile has grown
added unfamiliar lingerie with a torn crotch.
Silently, he retreats to the office
slamming the door until it splinters.
Relief washes over me.

I slide to the floor, the sounds start
he’s watching videos—the groans, moans
of other women, the blonde one with big tits
the one he likes, the one who inspired him

to offer me an enhancement
like an upgrade of my phone;
he wants a better model.
I pushed away loved ones
to try to make this home.






Charlotte Appleby is a student at Gloucester University and works part-time as a Play Worker. She has written articles for online magazines such as Greener Gloucestershire and Business Buzz. She has published work in Compass: New Writing IV (2015) and Reflections: New Writing V (2016)

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