MONKEY BARS

Carmina Masoliver's poem addresses society’s view of pole dancing by drawing parallels with playing on monkey bars. Illustration by Paul Garland.

I swing on monkey bars
and hang off primary coloured climbing frames,
where bare legs endure
no more than grazed knees.  

They try to tie me into a skirt-suit,
paint on glossy black tights,
tell me to keep court heels tucked into my bag,
and wear trainers for the commute,  

but I press my foot down,
push myself up to vertical,
hook my leg around a pole
and hang.  

My body turned like an hourglass,
blood rushes to my head.
To let go as I hold on
comes as easily as breathing in and out.  

My legs may be bare, may be bruised,
but they are strong, with this metal are one,
so don’t watch waiting for me to fall,
petal, move along.  

I may be grown up now,
but I’m still up-side-down
and holding on.

'Monkey Bars' was published in our 13th issue, The Outsider Issue, which has now sold out. To ensure that you never miss a future issue of the print magazine, subscribe from just £10 a year.