by Louise McStravick

Teenage pheromone scent sticky, summer 2002,
cobalt sky, unbroken as the ocean. As impossible.

We were more free than escaped parakeets –
we had money for bus fair.
curfew’s sands our call to action.
Change for halves on 10 Richmond Superkings
meet in front of the steps

Put in with us, call back to the phone box
pick up outside the flats, steady hands,
two-sheeters, two drag pass
we made stories out of the horizon
weaved possibility out of cloud skin,

shared a Walkman single headphone in
tape-recorded jungle raves we
saw in sisters stumbling up stairs
sirens punctuate our retelling,

eyes closed so tight we were there
with our sunbeam sways,
that would be us, one day.

Kingsized Mars Bar lunches
squeeze down every last spit
warmed bubble of cider until
we breathed gas air, last sip,
bottle crack, cider flat, mouths wet.

We were Beautiful, Pharrell sang for us,
we were that summer, the bit right before the chorus,
cider-wet tongues exchange spit,
half a chewing gum, innocent-breath

sky-bodied, sat right on wall’s edge,
legs swing Dr Martens,
cumulus commas,
underlined with thick black eyeliner–

Jump, I dare ya.

Audio recording of ‘Year 10 Summer Holidays’, written and read by Louise McStravick
Louise McStravick

Louise is a writer and poet from Birmingham. She has performed across the country in person and online, as well as in Amsterdam. Her collection, How to Make Curry Goat was released in July 2020 with Fly on the Wall Press.

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