So let’s call it love, a summer fling; she always has been good at those.

Nerves concentrated in fingertips that she scales along the skyline of his jaw. A cataclysm in the backseat. A wreckage of veins and neon lights bleeding through the window, a boy with rough hands and locked up knees. A collection of lipstick prints, blossoming bruises, mottling necks, collar bones.

This boy. Who is love notes written in the backs of maths books and bubblegum popped between locker vents. Oil smeared across his cheek and a wrench stuck between his teeth. It’d never been terribly interesting to watch him bleed.

This boy. Who feels like a poem cupped between her palms. Stanzas sticky sweet and hidden message clear. A marionette with ropes threaded around it’s neck as they act out postcard perfect, picket fence dreams.

How we say it’s right when, really, it’s wrong.

Creaking ferris wheel with rust collected at the edges. Fingers cotton candy spun as they grapple on the seat like a natural disaster and, ‘’I’m going to win,’’ she says. Something that’s been running for ruin all summer. And he doesn’t want to concede. Say, ‘’I know you are.’’ So he kisses her instead.

This girl. Who is poison apple smiles and threats swollen between her knuckles. Hair like flames tangled around his fingers and third degree burns traded on tongues that no one can see. He always has wanted to see her bleed.

This girl. Who feels like an equation trapped between his ribs. Numbers jumbled and frenetic and impossible to solve. A challenge like a noose around his neck as the summer fades to an end.

How we say it’s wrong, and really, it is.

So let’s call it a summer fling, love; he always has been good at those.