adolēscere: a poem

Laura Marsden

Here is our kingdom,
our empire of ash, de-constructed
into syllables of forgotten promises,
whispered in the snowy-static of the after-dream,
and the ghost of your teeth
against the slope of my shoulder.

Here, is our kingdom:
where the curve of your spine,
pointed magnetic north,
the way my name was scrawled
a hymn, across the skin of the night,
we built bridges across
spaces between sunset shadows.

That night:
when you pressed a drink into my hand –
against the lines of head and heart –
before you laughed in green-gold,
and told me to live forever.
There was rainwater in your hair,
eyes flashing chemical-bright
caught the burnt-orange haze
from streetlamps hanging
over our heads.

Our last days as children,
spent singing silent calls to arms,
as we ran until we couldn’t even remember
what we were running for –
with nothing but the trembling of our fingertips,
to betray just how afraid
we really were.

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