Truth or Dare

The days were rust and nettles, blistering sun, our tongues too fat to lie. In the sidings, weeds swallowed old metal, like we swallowed dry promises, trying not to gag. You said only the abandoned were beautiful, and we threw rocks at carriage windows, though they never broke. One night we stole a quart of bad wine and played truth or dare in the tunnel’s gaping mouth. They’ve built houses there now, and I still can’t remember what we did.

Oz Hardwick is a writer, photographer, music journalist, and occasional musician, based in York (UK). He has published six poetry collections, most recently The House of Ghosts and Mirrors (Valley Press, 2017), and has edited and co-edited several more, including (with Miles Salter) The Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry, which was a National Poetry Day recommendation in 2017. His website:

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