by Olivia Tuck
The lifeline dissects my palm. Two white seeds sit across it. Swallow: swallow, with day-old water. I'll wait until my vertebrae stop holding my head.
It's the longest day. I should be running barefoot through the witching hour beneath the strawberry moon. Boys and girls lie on hillsides, in fields, in glades, waiting for the sun to come back. The smoke they breathe lets them touch storybook dustcovers. Faery people fly past in their hosts, astride moths and bumble bees. They hang bunting from the old willows crying over the stream. Their song pulls the mortals to their feet, and they dance together in the light of the will o’ the wisps, forming a ring, bending, leaping, until the stars have gone and bodies are burnt to the ground.
Inside my thicket, a fog falls. It might be midwinter. I hide under the quilt.
I swap that trip for this one.
Olivia Tuck has had poems and prose published in literary journals and webzines, including The Interpreter's House, Lighthouse, Amaryllis and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work also featured in Please Hear What I'm Not Saying, a charity poetry anthology on the subject of mental health, and she has been Highly Commended and shortlisted in one or two story competitions. She is due to start at Bath Spa University this autumn, to study for a BA in Creative Writing. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites