Dionysus Creating Strongbow Dark Fruit

by Nadia Lines

is thinking of you at those just-teenage get togethers at Rebecca’s,
hoping to feel grown but betraying your youth by gripping
your glammed-up fruit shoot too tightly.

Dionysus creating Strongbow Dark Fruit (and the
Aldi knock-off too) is thinking of you at family BBQs,
where you are fourteen and disgusting and need
something to do with your hands.

Dionysus creating Strongbow Dark Fruit knows about
Julie’s moving away party where you wanted to kiss her mouth
and cry, but Julie says ‘We do not cry in Mother Russia’ so
you do not cry but drink instead, behind quaking lips.

Dionysus creating Strongbow Dark Fruit as decorations
for your room, for those interminable zoom pub quizzes and
Results Day Eves, for spilling the secret of your lost virginity,
for reading fanfiction, for vomiting profusely, for retelling

it all gleefully at school the next day, for bad poetry,
for the picnic the week before you all leave.
Dionysus is creating Strongbow Dark Fruit
to see you through the ritual madness of growing.