burning clothes in a backyard by Lucy Ryan

I dreamt summer and it was a wolf, four girls trading tear-filled bottles on the roadside and three boys spilling language near the bones of each other’s throats; I was a daisy chain and you were were a nectarine spilling hot and sweet across my tongue though it felt the other way round –
See, I was ripping and dripping like ice cream on the asphalt, a crucifix between my lips praying Artemis might catch me on the way down, arrow sunk deep between shoulder blades and bones flaking off like dandelion seeds.

Me sweet and you sticky, every boy on his back like fruitflies on a windscreen or mosquitos to the back of a neck; I am uncareful and my teeth turn pink with you turn red with you turn hungry in the meadows full up with lavender and crop circles where we tangle to the beat of scrawled notes on paper: not love, not that

With the wolf pacing in bellies the sky is clothed by butterflies, four girls and three boys sipping vodka through silly straws and we tell campfire stories of our striped knee socks as if they could be psalms, traded over and over until the meaning is lost. We are all sculpture. The museum gone quiet we are echoing through the halls songs of summer and ourselves, all dead things.

It’s still summer and I’m a mixed metaphor I am spring flowers and every girl I see is a ghost on my tongue, every girl I see takes a bite out of me and hangs inside the cave of my chest – you there like a corroded pair of lungs – and I am open wide; jaws, thighs, everything.



Lucy Ryan is a London-based writer Lucy is a London based student and writer learning to filter the world’s discord into poetry. She has been writing since childhood and her work is a personal and intimate portrait of her own life and those around her.