sour / sweet
by Elizabeth Sallow
blue lights and a ghostly haze;
sirens echo like a pulsing heart.
the world shuts off, away from us
and we should be ashamed.
i’m thinking of you: peach coloured dreams,
adolescence in a glowing blur.
softened pastels as the sun sets,
as it rises again.
trying to love you in a way i understand
in a way that doesn’t taste like a sin,
in a way that doesn’t taste sour.
you try to suck the venom out,
warm lips, summer fireworks under the stars -
i’m drunk on you, your kiss, your neck. the
sirens are coming closer.
i’ve never been good with the truth,
but you make me want to be. it’s explosive,
young nights, young hearts: a dark guarantee,
and then your father
finds us, interwoven in the doorway. it’s
judgement day, time’s up, hammer falls.
he’s holy, standing in the hallway. i
think we’re in purgatory, i think
he’s deciding our sentence. frozen
in time: those late nights, thunder
cracks, when we were infinite, when
we were innocent.
i never told you that i loved you, that
you tasted like strawberries. regret gets
hung on the moon in the lowlight
of the summer: late nights, lazy eyes.
the days felt endless: on the run, hearts
in our mouths, sick to our stomach. the
sirens were coming for us, our sins.
they were so hungry, they were so loud.
love-drunk under warm skies; i felt
dirty, i felt criminal. we got caught, we
went to church and the priest told me to
confess. blue lights, the siren echoes:
addictive, adrenaline. love tasted sour,
but you made it so sweet.
Elizabeth Sallow (she/her) is a queer nineteen year old who lives in a small village in the UK. She believes in the universal and connective power of literature and hopes that she can make people feel understood in a way that she did growing up with her head in a book. Her work has been published in interstellar magazine, dust poetry, and paracosm lit amongst others. You can find her on Instagram @elizabeth.sallow or Twitter @lizabeth_sallow
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