The day they started to build the rocket was the day she had her first kiss; he tasted like marzipan. Afterwards, at school, the boy called her dirty, she didn’t care. They wrote letters to The Committee, which the teacher promised to send. 'I like animals—' 'I have two brothers—' 'Please—' Later she found them in the bin, ripped to pieces. By the time it was finished, there she’d be, on the swings, fizzing with cheap wine and kisses that tasted like earth, its dark bulk waiting like a fist. She graduated from wine and kisses on a dog-haired sofa as the astronauts departed. At the very end, when the rocket was just another star in the sky, it was the taste of almonds she remembered most, and the deep-down gut ache as she swung through the dark.
Victoria Benstead-Hume
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