young ADULT - Theophina Gabriel

Updated: Jul 30

by Theophina Gabriel @lilaphina

Before we bridged the gap

Our childhoods collectively cracked.

And before it fried

Under a rising heat of incoming

Degrees, or commutes, or exhaust fumes or

Brown fucking envelopes from HM Revenue

It lay translucent,

Not quite raw, not quite ready

Time gently fried it,

But, before we got stuck

We jumped

Runny minds trickling down

Bladed edged pages we rolled and

Turned into daring arrows shot straight through

apples clutched in the

mouths of pigs our skin glinting

diamonds in the sun,

Or howling at the moon, changeling, half-wolf half-thing

Full-moon, worlds flipped page bent



society like a etch and sketch,

Suddenly swapped black

for white so we could

Play noughts and crosses in the sand

Hurl three-toned salutes

Into the ears of the capitol

Pull a pitchfork from a dead neighbour’s dog

And when our mouths were tired from

Everlasting Gobstoppers

We rustled through bins to find Dustbin babies

And told Elaine the Paine to suck it because

We were Champions of The World

Riding the Hogwarts Express on a golden ticket

Until midnight

Our eyes tired from Never Never land

Oz, The Galaxy, Illegal blankets like tents, pitched up and glowing

Past bedtime

We sizzled, in the in-between, in the growing heat

Not quite here but not quite there

Swirling around this frying pan of a no man’s land

We learnt to dig Holes and build bridges to Terabitha

Our eyes outran sunlight,

Our teeth bit through Turkish delights

A lions roar, a wardrobe full of snow.

We dangled cutlery in the air

With our minds

Books gripped between fingertips

Books Like wands and magic tricks

The spell lives on

Reverberating between many a millimetrerd page that

Casts wondering minds from the dark

Into a breaking dawn

And when we finally emerged, fully formed and full of magic

When they scraped us away

We slid out yolked and yellow and dripping with story

Happy to be served into the jaws of adulthood – imaginations sunny-side up.

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Quarterly literary review magazine by Black, Asian, and marginalised community writers.