What it tastes like
One night in a winter field, your face lit up in softcore yellows. The sky full of sugar like my peach iced tea. Black glitter fingers on your knees all scrape and fright, tears on your cheeks tears in your pockets. You were telling me for the first time about the girl back home, fourteen-and-a-half, lying still behind a bathroom door. I saw her in a bathtub full of blooming flowers but I can’t say if you gave her to me like this or if I drew her myself. There had never been anything to mourn before, only boys with sweet vanilla mouths not texting us back. So I didn’t know what to say. Just looked up with you into the light-polluted moonless blue. Now that we knew someone who had died, we had never felt so alive. The girl back home. The girl back there. We all had our ‘back home’, a place full of small and colourless gardens, faces floating in concrete pools. Nowhere we could go back. Nowhere else. Not a question of why but how, how can this not be home, how can you not let us keep this approximation of forever. The taste of let us stay. Or, if staying is not possible, the taste of forget. Teach me how to forget the warm asphalt smell, the tennis-court light. Teach me how to forget the colours of the city as we saw them, just as we left them, bright and full of drowning.