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2nd Place Poety Winner: The Nice Man - Rabia Kapoor

He seems nice,

The man performing cunnilingus

On the beautiful, supine woman

Who throws her head back because she must

And closes her eyes.

He holds on to her hips,

Smooth, perfect skin.

He looks like he’s a good listener,

Someone who would

say, ‘what were you saying?’

When you were interrupted.

I can’t see his eyes,

They’re buried between her legs,

But I think they’d be kind,

I think he’d be funny,

And smart, he seems nice,

The nice man going down on the beautiful woman

Who breathes heavily, as I might.

I imagine him with me,

My hands just about holding the shape of his head,

It always feels like they’re so far away,

Like my torso is miles long,

No one can be nearer.

I’d rise, and fall, and sink and crash like a beach holiday,

And really it does feel like two in the afternoon,

On the sand, skin burning,

He looks strong. If we went out and I got too drunk

He could carry me home, no problem,

And he’d tuck me in, take my shoes and socks off,

Kiss my forehead, he seems like the forehead kissing type,

And ask if I wanted to have a glass of water before I slept.

He doesn’t dig his fingers into her thighs,

His hands hold her body to him like she’s a prayer,

He’s praying, and she answers them, shaking and moaning as one would,

Then the clip ends,

And I scroll down, thinking,

It’s such a shame,

I was just getting to know him.


Rabia Kapoor is from Mumbai, India. She has a BA in English Literature from King’s College London and has worked closely for many years with the artists platform Kommune India as a writer and performer. Her stories and poems, which often dwell on themes of insecurity, belonging, and hope, have been featured on platforms such as Buzzfeed India, The Quint, and Homegrown.The two projects she is working on as a part of the prose fiction MA at UEA, a collection of short stories and a novel, are both deeply rooted in the geography and vivid characteristics of Mumbai. She is primarily interested in the quiet intimacy and tenderness of female relationships with their surroundings, with each other, and with themselves. Through her work she is looking for the generous potential of the world.


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