Undercover Colours by Emma Lee

(brand of nail polish in development)


Does it come in black:

this polish that changes colour

if I dip it into a drink

and a date-rape drug is present?


Surely a hangover

is the only punishment

for being drunk?


Will it match my jeans

as I wait for the band

having figured out the exits,

a place away from

the risk of being groped?


If one in three rapes

happen when the victim

is drunk, two in three

happen when the victim’s sober.

Being drunk would seem

more of a protection.


What if that quiet man,

sober, watching the audience

instead of the band, might?


I’ll dip a fingernail

in my Coke. What if

the light’s too dim

for me to figure out

if the colour’s changed?


What if he uses a drug

it doesn’t detect?

Have the staff signed up

to Ask for Angela?

How can I review the band

if I leave before the set starts?


Will it still be my fault?


‘Ask for Angela’ – a scheme whereby a customer in a bar can signal to staff to allow the customer to discreetly leave without alerting the person they were with



2 thoughts on “Undercover Colours by Emma Lee

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