He & She

My mind is perfectly in tune and aligned with my vagina and womb,

That’s why to 99% of you, gaining access to between my legs,

Will forever be like trying to master a Rubik’s cube, furthermore,

I’d rather gain motherhood, from the contents of a test tube,

Than ever lower my sights, I only speak the truth.


He taught me that the currency of the streets,

Was bravado and that most boys smiles,

Hid that they were sneaks and cheats,

And their word was not their bond,

But part of a narrative to get me in between the sheets.


She taught me to love my body and mind,

That to not would be worse than the kind of crime,

We saw being committed

All the time,

From street level,

To our stair wells,

Which were more like the nine levels of hell,

But we live on the tenth floor,

So I suppose that’s why we’ve always been above that.


She was and still is always full of ire and fire,

Always looking out of our window

And saying the streets below are like a giant funeral pyre,

Where hopes and dreams get cremated.

She says it’s not an excuse to use material deprivation

As the driving force behind the mistakes that are created,

Like boys drifting into gangs and selling drugs,

And it’s always the same ones causing trouble on the top deck of my bus.


It was also She that informed me, recently, that girls are more now than just objects of lust.

They too, had their own crews, with their own feuds,

Which She learnt from negotiating a truce,

In her position as a school councillor,

When a beef from the streets, spilled over past the school gates

And She was forced to cool the heat.


But even so, she said that

Girls were still mostly islands for the boys to conquer, or else some type of collateral,

(She even said she knew for a fact that some of the mothers of my friends were hooked on prescription drugs like Tramadol)


I’m only human,

But sometimes I think you have to be supernatural,

To not get caught in a downward spiral,

It’s like, what He and She want for me,

Is incompatible with my reality,

But then I remember how He,

Loves to watch men scrap on TV,

For the right to lift belts bearing the initials WBC,

And He tells me that’s how I should approach life,

Like a fight, and the older I get, the more I know he’s right.


I’m proud of my upbringing,

Because I know that one day it will allow me to take flight,

And what a sight I’ll be,

Rising like a phoenix out of the ashes

Of a dystopian, gritty, hungry, inner-city.

A black urban version of Katniss Everdeen.


I’m proud of everything I receive,

And I’m happy for our lack of wealth,

Because it means that everything is concentrated

On ensuring my intellectual health,

And lessons in wisdom, discipline and dignity.


I’m only 13 but I’m keen and ready,

They even taught me that everybody is a He or She,

That everyone had to earn the title of friend or family,

Based on how they interacted with me.


So really, I hope you listen good when I say,

I’m proud every day, that He and She,

Are my Mummy and Daddy.


Toni is a young woman with big ambitions for the future. She lives in a block of flats in South London. She doesn’t know it yet but her parents constant assessments of people around her will see her ambition blossom into an interest in the human psyche and lead her down the path of psychology to try and understand what motivates people to do what they do.


The first of a few I’ll write using different characters. 



  1. I kept scrolling down, down , down looking for the author of this blistering beautiful bit of verse.
    I was reminded of Louise Wener of 90’s band Sleeper, but credit goes where it’s due. Brother, that was some nice fire.

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