Outlier by Laylah Hough


Sarah Waters speculated about an elusive world
Of semi-historical settings that made the fairer sex bold
How it felt for these women to love and to hold
Within pages, I was immersed, engrossed, effortlessly sold
Sweet, subjective feelings without need for explanation
Found me on this street of female fascination

Hit with the sucker punch of dawning realisation
I examined an ill defined problem of my own creation
A failed experiment; visceral butterflies grow large and soar
Directing mumbled words towards the classroom floor
Once begrudgingly delivered my neuroticism score
A pause.
“You… might be a bit of an outlier,” she hypothesised,
A wide smile emphasised almond brown eyes
A b0 constant; beaming, bemused and a more than a bit beautiful.
A becoming combination of magic and science
Not that I was looking.
I wasn’t looking.

My face paints an all-too intimate portrait
Crude carmine drops drench flushed skin
Correction fluid insufficiently masks who lies within
Sad appreciator of puns, cool words and grins
No amount of insight into parasocial relationships
Predicts colouring at Slavic jawlines and curved hips

Ebony hair framed the apple shaped face
Of Ringo Shiina, a singer who rolls her ‘r’s
O jazz goddess who moved my foolish heart
Inspired confidence in an eccentric ingénue
Showed me what an “Arikitari na Onna” can do

My observations aren’t insightful or astute
Mainly hyperbolic outbursts of “Aww…she’s so cute!”
Over dorky zeal that’s massively appealing
Indulging in sugary fangirl squealing
Gives me this new found free feeling

Taking modest, gradual baby steps
I’ve put my mental set on reset
Finding my feet, little by little
Strengthening a brittle, porcelain backbone
Embracing the identity I developed and honed

Aware faulty cognitions sometimes need revising
I’ve stopped damning myself, cowering and hiding
Knowing that most people I’ve confided in
Accept me as I am
An undeniable outlier
Though moderated by experiential penis aversion
I’m still convinced it’s an accurate assertion
To say my finally manifest homosexuality
In line with Seligman’s “H=S+C+V”
Has made me the happiest I’ve ever been

By Laylah Hough